The British Columbia Government has committed to delivering a share of provincial gaming revenues with its indigenous nations. The announcement was made this week by Premier John Horgan as he opened the annual gathering between BC’s cabinet and First Nations leaders in Vancouver.
Horgan and the First Nations Leadership Council also revealed that they will collaborate on new legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with introduction of the law penciled in for 2019. The revenue-sharing arrangement is a key element of the February 2019 provincial budget, Horgan told media.
As reported by CBC News, Horgan told the Vancouver meeting: “This is a promise made over 20 years ago that has not yet been fulfilled until now. As we develop reconciliation, as we develop legislation around (the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) that will mean all laws in British Columbia will have a lens of how will it affect our First peoples, how will it affect those who have been here for millennium.”
First Nations Summit member Robert Phillips responded to the announcement, saying that the fight for gaming revenue had been going on for decades. Welcoming the news, he said: “If we have prosperous First Nations, that will mean extra revenues which will mean jobs, which will mean revenue for buying vehicles, houses, all of those things. We have to remember that.”