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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Seven mayors and six First Nation chiefs in the Treaty 8 region of British Columbia met together for the first time two weeks ago.

The October 15th meeting was to initiate the discussions to work towards reconciliation at a community level and is being described as a “momentous first step.”

FSJ Mayor Lori Ackerman says that we must acknowledge the past, work towards reconciliation, and resolve issues so the future does not “inherit this mess”.

The inaugural meeting was done virtually, and the joint release states, “it was obvious that there are opportunities to learn together, partner, and ensure all our residents have access to the basics of life.”

Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Sharleen Gale said that band is looking forward to strengthening relationships with their neighbours and those in the Treaty 8 Territory.

Mayor of Dawson Creek Dale Bumstead thinks that the opportunity to build a leaders table of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership is something very exciting.

“The pathway for the future is built upon communication and that will lead us into the very critical work for reconciliation,” says Bumstead.

Leaders from McLeod Lake and Mackenzie all the way to Fort Nelson took part in the virtual event.

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