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Neighbouring regional district responds to comments made about Tla’amin language

A regional district from across the Strait of Georgia is responding to comments made about Tla’amin First Nation’s traditional language at a Powell River council meeting.

According to the Tla’amin Nation, councillor Jim Palm used the word ‘Wakawana’ while talking to mayor and council about changing the city’s name last week.

In a statement, Comox Valley Regional District chair Will Cole-Hamilton says they affirm their commitments as local governments to stand up against any form of racism and discrimination.

“The CVRD would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that it recognizes and supports the rights of all Indigenous people to revitalize their traditional languages,” said Cole-Hamilton.

“This right is clearly articulated by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and is an important part of reconciliation, as called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

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In a statement yesterday, the city apologized to both the nation and the community for the comments. They add they are committed to addressing the impacts of colonialism and the importance of appropriate language.

The Tla’amin Nation adds they are hopeful they can move forward from this incident in a way that heals their relationship with the city.

With files from Hussam El-Ghussein, Vista Radio

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