The provincial Liberals 2002 treaty negotiations referendum was seen by the late syndicated columnist Hurbert Beyer as "little more than a government seeking voter permission to bash the province's aboriginals." Indeed, at the time, The Times Colonist's editorial board, wrote the referendum has "increased suspicion and mistrust among aboriginal people, encouraged other British Columbians to deny the reality of aboriginal title and emboldened racist groups like that one in Kelowna proclaiming that a 'yes' vote would make B.C. 'a better place for white families.'" So we find it passingly curious that, six years later, the ministry of aboriginal relations and reconciliation has introduced a new performance measure committing the government to increasing British Columbians' "positive awareness of diversity and value of Aboriginal cultures."
March 3, 2008