2011 Election Campaign, Answer to Question #3

Historically, South End residents have been 2 separate communities living in one neighbourhood.  Of course, there is a blurring of lines as many First nations folks do live off reserve and in the South End, and there are support services for them in the neighbourhood.  We have been working over the past few years to build and strengthen our relationship with SFN; it has made us aware of some of the challenges that they face.

And so we asked this question:

3.  How would you support our First Nations population in Nanaimo?

Candidates for Mayor

Dan Didio

did not reply to the survey

Roger McKinnon

did not reply to the survey

Jim Routledge

WOW – the best for last.  The easiest (thank goodness) to answer.   I seek a mandate from the people of Nanaimo to offer to help Chief White & the Snuneymuxw Band in any efforts they might want to make to improve access to Newcastle Island.   This is the biggest part of my election platform.  I want to do this more than anything, for Nanaimo, for our community, for all of us.  I want to get to know our First Nation community, to listen and understand.  I know that helping them get what they want, will be an important step in getting what I want too.

John Ruttan

The City of Nanaimo enjoys a close and sincere relationship with SFN and has developed a comprehensive Protocol Agreement to that end. We continue to work on several joint ventures dealing with land and water and I can tell you that we put great importance in their needs.

Candidates for Council

George Anderson

         I had the opportunity of working with the late chief Viola Wyse, and I believe that it is of the utmost importance that we support and promote the First Nanaimo populations in Nanaimo. This is the Snuneymuxw first Nations traditional territory and we need to make sure we include them as we move forward as a city.
Bill Bestwick
         Absolutely critical we treat our First Nations population with respect and support.  We need to ensure the First Nations population, their history and culture are preserved and acknowledged.  We need to communicate more effectively and more frequently to address local concerns and issues with all aspects of their needs including adequate fresh water supplies and sanitation.  We need to work with all other agencies including the Federal, Provincial, District and Liason offerings are real and genuine.  Listening to our neighbors, consulting and growing together through partnerships and relationship building is key.
Arlene Blundell
         In consultation with them and collaborating on ideas, I would like to see: a) a world class First Nations Art Gallery in Beban House after it closes as a Tourist Office, b) collaborating with the owner(s) of the Public Market at the Departure Bay ferry terminal to make that a mini-Granville island with a 200 seat theatre where continuous summer performances of local history could happen such as a musical on Emily Carr and a First Nations Pow-wow, c) public performances of storytelling in their own language, d) more involvement in our workforce, e) more opportunities for better integration between the First Nations and others.
Diane Brennan
         I would support the First Nations citizens in the region by establishing and maintaining relationships with FN organizations and community leaders.The City has a protocol agreement with the Snuneymuxw people signed several years ago. The agreement sets out ways and means to work together and a joint committee meets on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual concern (short and long term). The agreement guides the city’s relationship with the Snuneymuxw. The City could begin discussions with Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre as a first step towards establishing a relationship with urban aboriginal people.

Brunie Brunie

The first Nation are not part of Nanaimo’s voting boundary.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing.  I myself am a halfbreed.  My father was Haida,  my mother German .  My stepfather resented me until the end of his time.  I would support them in any way possible.

Gord Fuller
         As with most things communication & mutual respect are key. Through my work and community involvement I have gotten to know many people of First Nation heritage. I have also built relationships with a number of councilors and the chief of Snuneymuxw First Nation. As
one of the poorer of the first nations groups in BC the city of Nanaimo needs to support the Snuneymuxw people in their efforts of seeking redress from Provincial and Federal Governments. Nanaimo needs to continue to cement its relationships with the Snuneymuxw and work towards making this a better community for all.
Ted Greves
         As a Councillor, I would encourage staff to schedule more City Council meetings with the SFN Council and address issues that we are able to address at our level of government. This is a very difficult issue with much of the support for the First Nations in the hands of the Federal and Provincial Governments.
Diana Johnstone
          I have enjoyed my role as a member of the Protocol Committee between SFN Council and Nanaimo City Council.  I have learned a great deal about our First Nation Culture and have a great respect for their absolute rights as a nation.  I would support them in a broad range of issues ranging from social development protection, enhancement of their unique culture, encouraging aboriginal tourism, and providing inclusiveness on city advisory or other committees.  I would be supportive in any way possible to enable them to move forward and leave the pain of the past behind.
Jim Kipp
         I have a long and excellent relationship with SFN and other First Nations personally, professionally and politically.  I take great pride in having been called on a number of occasions to be a witness for First Nations.

Gary Korpan

I was the Mayor who led the team who reconciled Nanaimo with our Snuneymuxw 1st Nations neighbours and partners. I am very proud of my excellent working relationship with Chiefs John Wesley and Viola Wyse. We signed the Community to Community Protocol Agreements and achieved solutions to many long standing problems. If elected, I intend to restore good relations with our Snuneymuxw friends.

Rodger Lomas
         The First Nation status – nation within a nation – is another enriching layer of the tapestry that makes up the greater Nanaimo social fabric & Canadian social network of persons from many nations. Notwithstanding special status afforded First Nations persons – all rights & privileges that other Canadians have are also bestowed upon our native population;enshrined in the Charter of rights & freedoms; the Human Rights Act and a person’s security further protected internationally by UN Convention.
However, it is well publicized that Native persons are over represented in our correctional system; why?
Additionally, a report by The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children released November 1st, 2011 titled: “Right in Principle Right in Practice” – it reports: Children and youth endure more violence, exploitation and abuse than adults. Twelve percent of children live in poverty, 13 percent live in unhealthy housing and 38 percent are food bank users. Furthermore, nearly 55 percent of children with disabilities do not have access to needed aids and equipment because of cost. It is not specified what percentage of children in this report are aboriginal; it does note that there is considerable evidence that aboriginal children are even worse off.
Furthermore, it sites examples of delayed health treatments for aboriginal children because of funding disputes between federal and provincial governments; and, evidence that there is discrimination against poor, disabled, aboriginal, refugee and immigrant children. Is this Canada? These are issues above any city councilor and much rests at the Provincial Government level and above; however, the existence ofsuch a state of our children disgusts me.
Nonetheless, as City Councillor I will strive to see positive change for all Children of the Community of Nanaimo. Indeed, the report provides a “blueprint” on how to turn this around – it needs councillors and other elected officials from all levels to champion it.
Our children are our immortality; our city (world) is their inheritance. Housing we are working on & making progress; and, part of my Nanaimo-
of-Tomorrow vision is a comprehensive Transportation plan that will give all persons of Nanaimo access to services, housing, and an exchange of Socio-economic opportunities throughout Nanaimo and beyond.

Zeni Maartman

Working with First Nations and asking how they would like us to support them. What is their vision for the City of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw  First Nations. We need to have healthy conversations, around economic opportunities, treaty settlements, health and education and any issues that are of importance to First Nations themselves.  Municipal governments have a responsibility to work with senior governments to ensure all their citizens are respected and treated with dignity.

Jeet Manhas

I am proud to say that I have an excellent working relationship with our Snuneymuxw First Nations. During my two terms on City Council (2002-2008) I worked very hard to bring both the councils, City and Snuneymuxw First Nations, to an open table discussion and the outcome of that discussion was both the parties signing the Memorandum of Understanding. In the recent past I have also been working very closely with Snuneymuxw First Nations as a Director of Nanaimo Port Authority to build a Cruise ship Terminal.

Bill McKay
         I would like to know what I can do to help our First Nations community settle their treaties and land  claims.  We as a community have work to do, projects to start, and a bright future to start working towards.  We need to get going.  Council needs to provide a friendly and inviting environment to outside investment that will benefit all of our citizens including our First Nations community.

Darcy Olsen

I believe in working with all the community partners in Nanaimo and I look forward to continue to work with the Snuneymuxw First Nations on mutually beneficial projects.

Fred Pattje

To support our First Nations population to me means, first of all, that we must become much more aware of the challenges which our Snuneymuxw fellow citizens face on an almost daily basis. Once we have that understanding, we need to fully comprehend what the parameters for changing those challenges need to be. It is important to accept, for instance, that too many Snuneymuxw people live on too small a land base and will never be able to fulfill their economic aspirations unless that changes.

Equally important is that all of us take a trip to the library and learn about the Douglas Treaties, of which Chief Doug White lll speaks so eloquently and so often. Get to know this man better and see where he wants to lead his Nation  ( http://www.dougwhiteforchief.com/ )  I am glad to presently sit on a Council which has a relationship of mutual respect and understanding with SFN, a relationship which bodes well for our combined futures!

Trent Snikkers
         I have nothing but respect for the First Nations people, their art and culture, and their devotion to family and community.  I fully commit to having open and engaged discussions with Chief White and the Snuneymuxw Band to enhance (and protect) their interests and initiatives within our City.  Each Band is unique and I believe that the South End in particular can benefit greatly by incorporating the First Nations culture into development of its neighbourhood.
Rob Zver

I believe Council should work closely with the First Nations community in resolving their land treaty negotiations and assisting them in developing their lands so that they can build a substantial future for their people.  This kind of cooperation would ensure both success for the First Nations People and the City of Nanaimo as projects move forward many First Nations people would be provided job opportunities.  I also believe that City Council should enhance First Nations culture and art throughout the city so it can be showcased to the rest of the world.

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Filed under Answers From Candidates Here, Candidates for City Council, Candidates for Mayor

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