Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek proposed opening council meetings with a statement of reconciliation that acknowledged they are being held on unceded First Nations land. Council agreed. (Miranda Fatur/Langley Advance Times file photo)

Langley City to open meetings with statement about ‘unceded’ First Nations territory

Policy recognizes traditional territories of Kwantlen, Matsqui, Katzie and Semiahmoo

Future Langley City Council meetings will begin with a statement that recognizes they are taking place on traditional First Nations territory.

Whoever chairs the meeting will start by with a statement that the City “acknowledges the unceded territories of Kwantlen, Matsqui, Katzie and Semiahmoo First Nations.”

At the Monday night (Sept. 16) meeting of Langley City council, Mayor Val van den Broek won unanimous approval for her proposal, which she described as “essential” to the process of reconciliation with First Nations people in a report to council.

“The process of reconciliation has involved creating space for survivors of colonization to speak the truth about the harms done to themselves, their families and their nations; for the broader community to acknowledge those harms; and for us to find a new pathway forward together,” the mayor’s report said.

Council voted unanimously to approve the change, but not without a few reservations expressed by councillors Gayle Martin and Rudy Storteboom, who wanted the change delayed to allow a closer look.

Martin wanted to know how common such statements are.

“I think we should find out how many councils do this,” Martin said, stressing that she was not opposed to the idea, but wanted staff to investigate further.

Coun. Paul Albrecht didn’t think that was necessary.

“We don’t need to know what other jurisdictions do,” Albrecht observed, adding such statements are made by other levels of government like the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

“I think we should just move forward with this,” Albrecht said.

Coun. Nathan Pachal was also against a staff review

“That’s, in my mind, resources we could spend in a different way,” Pachal said.

Coun. Rudy Storteboom wanted to “avoid presuming” the language of the statement would be satisfactory to First Nations people.

“It’s long overdue. It’s important to get it right,” Storteboom said.

“The words that we used in the past are no longer appropriate and they are deemed unseemly by some.”

Mayor van de Broek said there was consultation with First Nations about the wording, as well as research by staff.

Coun. Rosemary Wallace, a former school trustee, noted a similar statement is routinely used in the Langley school district.

“They do it at every school board meeting,” Wallace said.

As approved, the resolution also directs City staff to invite representatives from the Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui and Semiahmoo First Nations to work with the mayor to develop “appropriate protocols” for the City to use in conducting City business “that respect the traditions of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui and Semiahmoo First Nations. “

At Con. Pachal’s suggestion, the language was amended to include members of council in the process.

READ MORE: Acknowledging the past

READ ALSO: Fort Langley walk to residential school commemorates Truth and Reconciliation report

READ ALSO: VIDEO: More interest in indigenous culture and language seen at Langley event

Langley Township council meetings currently do not open with a reconciliation statement.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Langley can plug into free energy savings workshops

Free workshops are being offered in English, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, and Korean

Lower turnout for Langley’s voters in 2019

Early voting was up compared to 2015

Aldergrove Secondary students create It-themed circus of horrors

Annual haunted house runs Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, as dry grad fundraiser

Kwantlen First Nations ‘overlooked’ in middle school plans

Majority of IR 6 residents sign petition against D.W. Poppy becoming a middle school

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

UPDATE: Charges pending after two teens pepper sprayed at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Most Read