Aeonian is going to work towards decolonization at the very earliest stages in the exploration process. Through dialogue we can learn from original keepers of the land and learn to thrive together.
What’s decolonization? In it’s simplest form, it is a restorative process that moves towards deconstructing colonial ideologies of the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches. Decolonization involves valuing and revitalizing Indigenous knowledge and approaches and weeding out settler biases or assumptions that have impacted Indigenous ways of being.
The Rights of Indigenous people was adopted by the United Nations in 2007. It says:
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
It lists several important rights in the process of decolonization, including:
- the right to autonomy and self-government, including financing for these autonomous functions
- freedom from forced removal of children
- protection of archaeological and historical sites, and repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains
- the right to provide education in their own language
- state-owned media should reflect Indigenous cultural diversity
- legal recognition of traditional lands, territories and resources.
The provincial government passed the legislation in November 2019 to implement the UN Declaration, which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission confirms as the framework for reconciliation.
To move forwards, we must understand the past, including the enactment of laws and events from early settlers that continue to effect modern First Nations. Other events, such as the ability to vote or the abolishment of residential schools are in living memory and so continue to create an erosion of trust.
Below is a timeline of major events in British Columbian and Canadian history that have a bearing on colonial law, and the influence on reconciliation.