The City of White Rock and the Semiahmoo First Nation continue to build trust and forge a strong relationship, acknowledging their progress as they approach June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day.
White Rock is recognized as being located on the traditional unceded territory of the Semiahmoo First Nation and the broader territory of the Coast Salish people.
Grieving for Losses
The City of White Rock grieves with the Semiahmoo First Nation, and Indigenous people across Canada, for the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops residential school.
City of White Rock flags have been flown at half-mast since May 31.
The City and the Nation meet regularly as Councils to discuss matters affecting both governments and items of mutual interest. As part of their ongoing dialogue on a variety of matters, the City and SFN have steadily moved toward the completion of servicing agreements.
Earlier this year, the City and Nation signed three utility service agreements, two for water supply and one for sewer services.
The City promised in the 2021-2022 Council Strategic Priorities to continue to nurture its relationship for the benefit of both communities.
About National Indigenous Peoples Day
Held annually on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
In co-operation with Indigenous communities, the Government of Canada selected June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day, in 1996. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
Canada Day 2021
The City of White Rock encourages people to wear orange this Canada Day to grieve along with First Nations people across Canada. Watch White Rock’s Canada Day event, including messages from Mayor Walker and Chief Chappell, on July 1 by visiting whiterockcity.ca/canadaday or the City’s Facebook page.
Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell
“We continue to mourn and struggle to move forward as a people. Truth continues to be revealed. We strive for healing for our people and reconciliation with the nation of Canada.
Our nation knows and witnesses the work of healing and reconciliation are long processes that require understanding, empathy, education, and perseverance to resolve. Locally, we continue to work with our friends and neighbours in the City of White Rock to see these things come to pass.”
White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker
“Our hearts are broken, and we are angry in White Rock as a result of the injustices carried out on Indigenous peoples, including the Semiahmoo First Nation, through colonization, including at residential schools.
The City of White Rock is committed to continuing to create a strong, trusting relationship with our friends and neighbours, the Semiahmoo First Nation. We know that much work is to be done. The City and its Council are committed to making that happen.”