If there is a way forward from the history of the residential school experience in Canada as told through the thousands of people who testified before the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the glimmerings of it can be found in northwestern B.C.
And that’s through the steady establishment of the new reality of complete and full aboriginal involvement in the region’s resource extraction industry.
Whether it be mining or forestry or the increasingly dark horse possibility of a liquefied natural gas industry, aboriginal equity positions and aboriginal business and employment opportunities are now a part of any corporation’s business plan as is lining up financing on the stock market.
The groundwork for all of the above lays out the prospect of wealth creation for aboriginal companies, aboriginal governments and for aboriginal individuals.
For it is only through societal and individual wealth creation that roads can be paved, clean water provided, houses constructed, schools built and people fed.
From the Tahltan and the Nisga’a to the north of Terrace to Kitselas to the east and to Kitsumkalum to the west, there’s a new way of doing things, one which will pay off in the years head.
And for the rest of us who live up here, the inescapable conclusion is that as aboriginal peoples benefit, so will we all.