BC Assembly of First Nations’ Regional Chief Terry Teegee is pleased to welcome and congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they are sworn in as the next president and vice president of the United States of America. Today’s inauguration ceremony begins a new hopeful period of reset and commitment to relationships between nations and peoples that are grounded in respect and cooperation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and taught us about the depth and range of socio-economic inequalities in both the United States and Canada. Addressing the problem of racism and advancing reconciliation must be a priority for these governments,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, grounded in the principle of equality, is a starting point that can propel all of us toward just and equal states. I see opportunities with this new administration in the United States to bring forward this innovative document and implement its principles into legislation that will ensure Indigenous rights and sovereignty are upheld.
In particular, the BCAFN is looking forward to initiating and building economic development opportunities and trade networks with Indigenous nations in the United States as guaranteed by border crossing rights under the Jay Treaty (1794) and which the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) protected. Finding ways to improve community health and well-being and identifying a number of different strategies for addressing inequalities and inadequate resources is a priority.