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Letter to the editor: Lheidli elder finds museum upgrade offensive

The premier is using First Nations Reconciliation to support a tourist/school field trip destination while First Nation communities are still trying to recover from recent fires and floods.
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The Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria.

While British Columbia recover from devastating weather events, the premier announces an $800 million dollar facelift to the Royal B.C. Museum. 

Adding insult to this foolish ill-advised decision, he is using First Nations Reconciliation to support a tourist/school field trip destination while First Nation communities are still trying to recover from recent fires and floods.

Before anyone judges my comment on the reconciliation initiatives, I am First Nations and I know culture is important, but so is a safe community and a home. Our mother was featured as a Language and Knowledge Keeper of the Carrier Sekani peoples at Exploration Place Museum in Prince George in 2019. My mother grew up in the worst of times but she taught her family about work ethics and budgeting. She had a simple formula: out of your earnings, first you pay for the must haves (home; food; heat; transportation for work) the remainder you divide by 4 and this is your disposable income on the “nice to haves”, but not before you put some aside for a rainy day. She self-proclaimed herself as a finance minister. 

What needs to be addressed from the premier is housing, food, transportation, health care and using the rainy-day account to address the unforeseen damage caused by a long ignored climate crisis.  People are suffering to no fault of their own and the premier finds it acceptable to spend $800 million on a disposable nice to have expense.  Shamelessly, the premier is using our people again to advance the interest of a politician or political namesake on this extravagance. It's offensive!

Every penny of this $800 million has to go to fixing much more dire needs in this province and this premier needs to get his priorities right.  If you agree there are other priorities, call your MP, write the premier, let him hear from the people, and not just fodder for a politicalized debate going nowhere.  

Jo-Anne Berezanski

Elder, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation

Victoria