With just days to go in the provincial election campaign, some First Nations leaders are decrying the lack of any significant policies or coverage regarding First Nations issues.
Those leaders, Chief Gwininitxw and Richard Wright of the Gitxsan First Nation, are focusing their election message on “anyone but Clark,” referring to BC Liberal incumbent Christy Clark.
However, Wright says the fact that all parties have yet to address First Nations is appalling.
“It hasn’t happened. And we view that as extremely racist and catering to the majority of the population. We are viewed as a resource gathering base for the Canadian economy.”
Meanwhile, Chief Gwininitxw, who is an NDP supporter, is accusing the previous Clark government of dividing families and communities with their LNG fantasies.
The two Gitxsan groups in attendance, Gwininitxw and Luutkudiziiwus, are currently in litigation with the federal government and Pacific Northwest LNG over what they say are adverse effects the pipeline will have on the Skeena River Sanctuary.
Gwininitxw is advocating against voting for Clark, saying the BC Liberal leader ignores citizens in favour of businesses.
“She just bullies whomever. If you’re just an ordinary citizen on the streets of Vancouver she’s not going to listen to you. If you’re one of the people that live in social housing, she’s not going to listen to you. But if you’re big business, if you’re a corporation, Christy Clark is sitting at your doorstep.”
However, both Gwininitxw and Wright are calling on all three parties to incorporate indigenous rights into their campaigns.