January 24, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to helping Indigenous groups seeking to rebuild their nations in a manner that responds to the priorities and unique needs of their communities.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that Canada has provided the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation with $143,000 through the Nation Rebuilding Program to support their efforts towards self-determination. Funding will support the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation to work collectively and promote W̱SÁNEĆ culture and nation rebuilding within the W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.
Made possible through Budget 2018, the Nation Rebuilding Program is designed to help Indigenous groups build governance structures and institutions so they can take on and exercise their rights, including self-government, and act at a nation level.
The Program is an important step forward in renewing nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples; improving their well-being and economic prosperity; and developing healthier, more sustainable communities.
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping Indigenous groups seeking to rebuild their nations in a manner that responds to their priorities and unique needs. By supporting Indigenous groups like the W̱SÁNEĆ to rebuild and reconstitute their nation, we are moving forward together on the path to reconciliation.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“The W̱SÁNEĆ are one people. The name W̱SÁNEĆ means “the emerging people” and refers to the story of how our ancestors survived the great flood. Under the Indian Act, the W̱SÁNEĆ people were divided into the Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, and Tseycum First Nations. Together, we have chosen to pursue funding through the Nation Rebuilding Program to strengthen our relationships with one another and emerge, once again, as W̱SÁNEĆ people.”
Chief Don Tom, Chair of the Board,
W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) recommended that Indigenous groups should begin to reconstitute themselves as nations and create institutions with breadth and capacity to take on the exercise of rights, including self-government.
Nation Rebuilding Program funding has been made available for five years starting in 2018-19. All funded proposals support capacity development as well as aggregation and nation-rebuilding activities that include more than one Indigenous group of the same nation.