The Crown and Indigenous Peoples
The relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples in British Columbia is ever-evolving and is an important focus of the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governor honours Indigenous traditions and heritage, including elements such as ceremonial protocol and acknowledgment of traditional territories, and promotion of the vibrant and diverse cultures of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis in British Columbia to the rest of Canada, and on an international level. The Lieutenant Governor supports a dialogue of Reconciliation and respect, and participates in events and the promotion of public participation in this ongoing journey.
In 2016, in the presence of First Nations leaders, the Governor General, the Lieutenant Governor, the Premier and other dignitaries, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge affixed the Ring of Reconciliation to British Columbia’s Black Rod in a ceremony at Government House.
The Ring of Reconciliation symbolizes a step toward reconciliation of all cultures in British Columbia. It is inscribed with Lets’e Mot, meaning “One mind” in the Halq’eméylem language. Two eagle feathers separate the words from an etching of the canoe Shxwtitostel. The Ring of Reconciliation is the fourth and final ring on the Black Rod.
One of the Lieutenant Governor’s priority programmes of her mandate is the BC Reconciliation Award, recognizing those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of BC.
The British Columbia Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of Reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward.