Statement by the First Nations Leadership Council and Ministers Hajdu and Anandasangaree following their participation at Our Gathering kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct in British Columbia

Statement by the First Nations Leadership Council and Ministers Hajdu and Anandasangaree following their participation at Our Gathering kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct in British Columbia


Unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (April 25, 2024) – The First Nations Leadership Council, the Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Gary Anandasangaree, issued the following statement today:

“Our Gathering kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct is an annual event held on the unceded, traditional ancestral territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. It is an opportunity for the 204 First Nations in British Columbia to raise key areas for prioritization in our Nation-to-Nation relationships.

First Nations in British Columbia are leading the charge towards a better future for their communities. They are pushing for a fair standard of living, where they have housing, First Nations-led healthcare, access to clean and reliable drinking water, the tools in place to respond to emergency situations like wildfires and floods, and more opportunities to build and develop their businesses—and the Government of Canada will be a partner in that work.

There is also important progress underway that will change the trajectory of their relationships with the Government of Canada by moving outside the confines of the Indian Act, in ways that work for each Nation. In many communities, this is the negotiation of Modern Treaties or Self-Government Agreements that create greater self-determination and control over lands, resources, and jurisdictions, such as education and child welfare.

While progress is underway, there is a lot of work ahead to build partnerships based in trust and cooperation. Canada must, for example, fully implement our promises and obligations in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopt the First Nations Clean Water Act so First Nations have clean drinking water for generations to come, and we have to double down on our efforts to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, and Gender-Diverse People. Further, continued urgent collective action is required to address the homelessness and toxic drug poisoning crises. We are grateful for the honest discussions that occurred, inspired by the stories that were shared, and ‎encouraged by the steps taken down the path of reconciliation.

Our best wishes and immense gratitude to all who organized and participated in Our Gathering.”

The Government of Canada was honoured to convene with First Nations leaders, members and organizations in British Columbia at Our Gathering kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip ct. This marked the 11th year of the gathering, co-hosted by the First Nations Leadership Council, which is comprised of the First Nations Summit, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the BC Assembly of First Nations, together with Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.



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