Last week, BC Assembly of First Nations held another Business Forum in beautiful Lheidli T’enneh Territory (Prince George, BC). After a warm welcome to the territory, the forum began with a panel discussion on the certainty that the recently passed Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in BC Act offers to businesses in the province. This panel included Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Political Executive who helped to bring the Declaration into law. While addressing articles such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and questions from the crowd, it became clear from the panel, that the Declaration facilitates moving forward with non-Indigenous counterparts in a good way. As mentioned by Regional Chief Teegee, we are moving closer to an era of reconciliation and relationship building, and of recognition of Indigenous Rights and Title.
Last year many international reports called for the urgent need to reduce GHG emissions. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report (November 2019), found that we now need to reduce global emissions by 7.6 % every year from 2020 to 2030. This means emissions must drop rapidly to 25 gigatons by 2030, but based on today’s world commitments, emissions are on track to reach 56 Gt CO2e by 2030, over twice what they should be. The report states Governments cannot afford to wait, people and families cannot afford to wait, economies must shift to a decarbonization pathway now.
Women in Leadership Dialogue Session
On January 24, 2020 the BC Assembly of First Nations’ Regional Chief Terry Teegee and I welcomed 150 delegates and presenters to the 3rd Women in Leadership Dialogue Session. Chiefs, Councilors, traditional and hereditary leadership, matriarchs, elders, youth, administrators, community leaders, grassroots activists, and front-line service providers gathered to gain strength by truthfully examining the challenges faced by women and gender-diverse individuals in leadership and by celebrating successes in a spirit of mutual partnership.
On January 22nd, Regional Chief Terry Teegee attended the First Ministers Meeting on Justice and Public Safety in Victoria, BC. As Chair of the Assembly of First Nations' Chiefs Committee on Justice, Regional Chief Teegee was invited to address his federal and provincial colleagues. He spoke of the urgent need for legal reform in the justice system to address Canada’s increasing incarceration rates of Indigenous Peoples.