A ceremony marking National Indigenous Peoples Day today (Friday, June 21) will provide opportunity for a joint statement by White Rock council and the Semiahmoo First Nation council on positive steps being made to move forward together in an improved relationship.
The public ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on East Beach, at Totem Plaza, dedicated to the memory of Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles.
Representatives of both governing bodies – including Chief Harley Chappell and Mayor Darryl Walker – are expected to attend. The relationship – strained in recent years by disputes over water servicing for the First Nation – has been on an upswing since the election of a new White Rock council late last year, and a historic first joint public meeting of both councils was held Jan. 23.
A release issued by the city notes that National Indigenous People’s Day is a day for “all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
“A key priority for Council this term is to rebuild a positive relationship with the Semiahmoo First Nation,” the release adds.
“Our relationship is essential to the well being of our community and we believe we can achieve much more together.”