Coun. Barry Avis puts forward notice of motion to acknowledge the First Nations before council meetings in Qualicum Beach. — NEWS file photo

Qualicum Beach councillor wants First Nations to be recognized

Barry Avis wants to acknowledge traditional land before town meetings

The Regional District of Nanaimo does it, the City of Parksville does it, School District 69 (Qualicum) does it, and so does the Vancouver Island Regional Library board. So why shouldn’t the Town of Qualicum Beach as well?

Qualicum Beach Coun. Barry Avis put forward a notice of motion at Monday’s (Nov. 20) council meeting to open regular and committee of the whole council meetings by acknowledging and recognizing meetings are held on the traditional land of the First Nations.

Avis, who is on the VIRL board, said about a year ago members of the library board questioned why that board didn’t recognize the First Nations at the beginning of meetings. Since then it has made the notice at every meeting.

Avis said at a recent Qualicum Beach Museum board meeting, Bill Recalma, who is on the board of directors, asked if the museum could also start its meetings with the acknowledgement. Then at last Thursday’s tree lighting in Qualicum Beach, Avis said, Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma asked if the town would consider opening its council meeting with the acknowledgement.

The RDN, the City of Parksville, the VIRL board and the school district all open their meetings with a statement acknowledging they are on the unceded territory of the First Nations.

“I think it might be appropriate that we consider doing something similar for the opening of our council meetings and our committee of the whole meetings,” Avis said.

For story tips, email: lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

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