BCLI attends BC Cabinet & First Nations Leaders’ Gathering 2023
November 14, 2023
BY Kira Davidson
The British Columbia Law Institute was delighted to host a table at the 2023 BC Cabinet & First Nations Leaders’ Gathering, which took place earlier this month on November 2nd and 3rd. The event was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, located on the territories of the Xʷməθkʷəýəm (Musqueam), Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.
The Gathering is a partnership between the provincial government and the First Nations Leadership Council, which is comprised of the BC Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. It is designed to recognize, respect, and advance government-to-government relationships and facilitate joint dialogue and collaboration in support of reconciliation. The record number of attendees at this year’s Gathering represented 193 First Nations and organizations and included Grand Chief Stewart Phillip from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Robert Phillips from the First Nations Summit, Regional Chief Terry Teegee from the BC Assembly of First Nations, BC Premier David Eby, Attorney General Niki Sharma, and the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Murray Rankin.
BCLI’s Executive Director, Karen Campbell, and BCLI staff lawyer and Reconciling Crown Legal Frameworks (RCLF) program lead, Megan Vis-Dunbar, represented BCLI on the convention floor. They engaged with attendees and promoted the RCLF program by sharing copies of the five reconciliation primers and information about some of the program’s upcoming work, including a study paper on Indigenous Courts. A significant moment for BCLI came when the reconciliation primers were highlighted in a presentation by Minister Rankin, who encouraged delegates to pick up copies.
BCLI is grateful to have had this opportunity to strengthen our relationships with First Nations leaders and government ministers. We are thankful for the positive feedback we received throughout the event, and we look forward to building on the connections we made as we continue to develop our reconciliation work.