Indigenous Flags of three First Nations Unveiled at BC RCMP Headquarters
The Chiefs of the Semiahmoo, Kwantlen, and Katzie First Nations bore witness to the unveiling of their territorial flags at a special ceremony at BC RCMP Headquarters on the morning of September 21.
BC RCMP Headquarters sits on the unceded traditional territories of the three First Nations. Chief Harley Chappell of Semiahmoo, Chief Marilyn Gabriel of Kwantlen, and Chief Grace George of the Katzie First Nations, joined the Commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki and Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald of the BC RCMP in unveiling a plaque in honour of the three First Nations. The plaque was mounted on a 300 pound cedar post.
This is more than the raising of these three very important flags, says Deputy Commissioner McDonald. It’s also a symbol of the RCMP’s commitment to strengthen relationships with our Indigenous neighbours and partners through action.
RCMP Commissioner Lucki echoed that sentiment. As we approach our 150 anniversary, we are committed more than ever to advancing reconciliation and renewing relationships with Indigenous peoples.
The ceremony opened with an Indigenous prayer and the event ended with the playing of a traditional frame drum. For Indigenous people, the drum represents the universal heartbeat of Mother Earth, the universal goddess, and mother to us all.
Deputy Commissioner McDonald added, While the RCMP have made strides in welcoming Indigenous peoples into our policing environment, we acknowledge that unless we see Indigenous peoples among us, working shoulder-to-shoulder, we are not experiencing the change that must occur to foster acceptance and to embrace a new, different police force in the future.
The flags are now on permanent display in the lobby of BC RCMP.
Cpl. Madonna Saunderson
District Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
4020 5th Avenue, Prince George, BC V2M 7E7