Kruger hopes report builds relationships

The chief of the Penticton Indian Band shares his thoughts on the final Truth and Reconciliation report.

It’s hard to say how the release of the final Truth and Reconciliation report will affect relations with First Nations in the South Okanagan, but Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger is taking it as a step in the right direction.

“We still have a long ways to go, but I am so proud of Canada right now,” said Kruger, adding that this has been a long struggle for indigenous peoples to create a path to healing.

It is going to mean some hard work in the future, said Kruger, who hopes this creates better relationships, though at the same time said the dark history of the residential schools can’t simply be set aside.

“There is going to be some education for citizens of Canada  and there is going to be some healing for our families and our communities,” said Kruger. “Let’s set a new course and a better course for our families and our future generations.”

Kruger said he has already seen discussion in social media and other forums about how the truth and reconciliation report is stirring positive emotions among indigenous people. He hopes the momentum continues, and work is done to help First Nations restore language, culture and correct history along with the recommendations contained in the report.

Those 94 calls to action cover the gamut, calling for changes in policies and programs, as well as commemoration through education and memorials, to help to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.

Kruger said the PIB, along with other member bands of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, have already taken steps to economic growth and self sufficiency, but there are other communities that are living in poverty.

“I believe the Okanagan are definitely off to a good start. There are a lot of communities that are not as successful as we are. It is going to take quite some time for them to create that good environment,” said Kruger.

Locally, Kruger hopes to see some infrastructure funding going into First Nations communities, and money put towards education.

“I do want to capitalize on some of that funding for education. We have plans. That is probably going to be our focus,” said Kruger.

“I am sure there is still going to be some skepticism on both sides, but I think the intentions are true. It is going to take some time and it is not going to be done overnight.”

 

Just Posted

Column: When is plant and animal species loss a crisis?

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

BC Care Providers to explore new solutions to care aide shortage in Okanagan

CEO Daniel Fontaine finishes Listening Tour, discusses possible care aide internship in Okanagan

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

It’s time to Ring and Sing, in spring

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble and the Oliver Handbell Ringers present a concert for bells and voices

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Home Hardware to give away free Reusable Shopping Bags in honour of Earth Day

“We feel we have a responsibility to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible”

Most Read