I believe that we all, as residents of Esquimalt, have a role to play in reconciliation with Indigenous people and especially our neighbours, the lək̓ʷəŋən people or the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. We live on lands that are their traditional territories and there is a long history of broken promises, treaties and agreements between them and our governments, as well as more than 150 years of blatantly racist and dehumanizing policies and actions by our governments and society in general. It takes a lot of time, personal effort and legal agreements to redress this and restore trust.
I believe that reconciliation is about more than just acknowledgement- it’s about building relationships built on mutual respect and trust, and concrete actions. For the Township of Esquimalt, it’s about working with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations as partners on issues of shared interest. It’s about asking the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations what they need from the Township and how best we, as neighbours residing on their traditional lands, can support them as community members, friends and partners.