Earlier, we reported just 30 percent of British Columbians have a "positive awareness" of the diversity of value of First Nations culture. This, according to the ministry of aboriginal relations and reconciliation's service place. Asked for his interpretation of that number, Mike de Jong, the minister responsible, said it means the government has "more work to do. That (awareness is) better than it was. But we want to ensure British Columbians have a keener sense of our history - our history dating back to the formation of the colony but also our history pre-contact with Europeans. And there's more work to be done."
So how's the government going to accomplish that? "You've already seen some of the work that's already taking place - through education, through incorporating elements of our history into the curriculum. And, as British Columbians see the kind of reconciliation agreements that are taking place, there's a broader understanding being created. I think it's positive," said Minister de Jong.
So do the Liberals feel any responsibility for that lower awareness, given their past opposition to the Nisga'a Final Agreement and decision to hold a referendum on treaty negotiating principles? "I'm actually proud of the work we've done over the number of years to address a deplorable socio-economic gap that has been created over the course of a century and a half," the minister responded. "But the work isn't finished."