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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
APRIL 24, 2007
Coast Salish Traditional Territory/West Vancouver, BC — The First Nations Summit is pleased with the motion tabled in the BC Legislature today to finally accept the findings contained in the 2001 report entitled Review of the Depiction of Aboriginal peoples in the artworks of the Parliament Buildings. The report, written by an independent five person panel of experts in art history and aboriginal art unanimously concluded that the murals in the legislative rotunda should be removed.
“First Nations people in BC have been seeking the removal of this offensive material from
the provincial legislature for decades. We are pleased that this government has tabled a
motion today that should finally bring a resolution to this longstanding issue”, said Grand
Chief Edward John, a member of the First Nations Summit political executive.“The Parliament Buildings must positively represent the contributions of all of the citizens in this province. No longer will First Nations people have to walk through the rotunda and feel as though we are being inaccurately depicted by the demeaning and degrading subservient stereotypes contained in the murals”, said Chief Judith Sayers, also a member of the First Nations Summit political executive.
“First Nations leaders have been working with the provincial government in an effort to build a new relationship that would finally dispose of the historical colonial relationship we have had. The removal of the murals from the legislative rotunda is a significant representation of the government’s commitment to achieving this. We would be pleased to be involved in the process carried out by the Speaker of the House to make recommendations on new artworks that will reflect the respect, recognition and reconciliation this new relationship is based upon,” added Chief John.
The First Nations Summit speaks on behalf of First Nations involved in the treaty negotiation process in British Columbia. Background information on the Summit may be found at www.fns.bc.ca.
For further information contact:
Communications Director, First Nations Summit
Office: (604) 926-9903 or Cell: (604) 328-4094
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