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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- Building true reconciliation, respect and partnership requires new patterns of thought and action that are bold, courageous, and innovative



With respect to the ongoing situation in the Wet’suwet’en territory the primary imperative and responsibility of all should be to find a just, peaceful, and respectful resolution. I and my BC Green Party colleagues remain committed to doing whatever we can to help make that happen.

This situation is a legacy of Canada’s colonial history. Growing up as an Indigenous person (W̱SÁNEĆ) in Canada I know directly how strong and destructive that legacy can be. It has shaped where and how we live, how decisions are made, how lands are stewarded, and where power lies and the purposes for which it is used.

I have come to learn that addressing that legacy and building true reconciliation, respect and partnership requires new patterns of thought and action that are bold, courageous, and innovative.

If we are to confront this colonial legacy in ways that are just and principled, everyone has a responsibility and role to play in finding just and peaceful solutions that break from destructive colonial patterns.

This includes the use of force and violence to achieve an outcome.


That approach has not solved the deeper issues in the past, typically it has inflamed them, and it is not a solution for the current situation in the Wet’suwet’en territory. It is not a solution in any future conflict over land and resource management in British Columbia.

The transition from colonization to self-determination is going to take time and a thoughtful approach. As I have said many times in recent months, it will not happen overnight. Many people have worked incredibly hard to advance reconciliation efforts dramatically over the past year.

This work was done in a “good way” and it is with this in mind that I respectfully ask everyone to embrace our responsibility to find a just and peaceful resolution to the current impasse in Wet’suwet’en territory.


Adam Olsen is the Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands, and currently the interim leader for the BC Green Party.

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