Statement on the Exoneration of Tsilhqot’in ChiefsMar 27, 2018
Reconciliation Canada honours the memory of the six courageous Tsilhqot’in Chiefs exonerated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons yesterday, March 26, 2018.
These courageous Chiefs were wrongfully hanged some 150 years ago for defending their homelands from encroachment. Amid what is referred to as the Tsilhqot’in War, these Chiefs acted in what they believed to be a defense of their territories and sovereignty.
The colonial authorities acknowledged this by extending an invitation to the Chiefs to engage in peace talks. The Chiefs agreed to the peace talks, but were instead imprisoned, tried and hanged.
History has a way of baring the truth and, thus, the exoneration. These acts can become pillars and foundations for discovering peace, harmony and reconciliation. The exoneration holds huge promise for our pluralistic society.
We urge all Canadians to learn more about our shared history and about each other.
The Tsilhqot’in are open to new ways forward with all Canadians. The recent Surpeme Court of Canada decision granting them 1,700 square kilometers of land only emboldens their desire to create new relationships through a lens of Reconciliation based on mutual respect and trust.