First Nations chief to ritually shame feds

Beau Dick. (FACEBOOK/HO)

Beau Dick. (FACEBOOK/HO)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

A traditional native ceremony that has not been performed for decades will take place Sunday afternoon on the B.C. legislature lawn as a symbolic shaming of the federal government.

A copper — a metal plaque traditionally used to measure the status, wealth and power of Kwakwaka’wakw chiefs — will be broken by hereditary Chief Beau Dick.

“The copper is a symbol of justice, truth and balance, and to break one is a threat, a challenge and can be an insult,” Dick told the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper. “If you break copper on someone and shame them, there should be an apology.”

On his Facebook page, Dick wrote: "It has been scarcely 150 years since the proclamation of British Columbia. In this short period of time, the First Nations of this province have endured near annihilation and a cultural genocide unprecedented in the annals of human history.

"So, in the spirit of cultural preservation, my family and I will embark on a journey from our homelands on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the legislature building of B.C. in Victoria. We will conduct a copper cutting ceremony, breaking the chains that bind us, freeing our hands so that we may create a better future for our children."

The 58-year-old master carver began walking with family members and supporters from his home in Alert Bay on Feb. 2. They have visited several communities, participated in traditional ceremonies, and met with elders and chiefs along the way.

An Idle No More rally is scheduled to start on the legislature lawn about one hour before the ceremony.

 


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