Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Colonialism.]

"It only took 150 years, but we look forward to a much brighter future. ...I didn't think it would be so definitive. I was actually prepared for something much less. It's not very often that I'm without words, and I'm quite overwhelmed at the moment."—Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, on the Supreme Court of Canada's decision today to grant "declaration of aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia to the Tsilhqot'in First Nation, the first time the court has made such a ruling regarding aboriginal land."

In addition to establishing "what title means, including the right to the benefits associated with the land, and the right to use it, enjoy it and profit from it," the decision "places a greater burden on governments to justify economic development on aboriginal land."

Additionally, Vancouver's city council has unanimously voted "to acknowledge that the city is on unceded Aboriginal territory. ...'Underlying all other truths spoken during the Year of Reconciliation is the truth that the modern city of Vancouver was founded on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and that these territories were never ceded through treaty, war or surrender,' reads part of the motion from the city."

It is terrible that such an acknowledgment should be remarkable, but so it is. Let it be the first of many such acknowledgments, in Canada and the US.

[H/T for the first link to Shaker Aphra via email and Shaker Annafel in comments, and for the second link to Jonathan Lavallee on Twitter.]

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