Tourism plays an important societal role in bringing people together and sharing the true stories of British Columbia. Authentic Indigenous cultural experiences invite the feeling of connection with all things and creates greater cultural understanding. They are transformative experiences that create lasting memories and are the highlight of a traveller’s journey. Tourism is a path to lasting, meaningful reconciliation and building stronger connections with Indigenous Peoples, communities, and cultures.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established a universal framework for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world, and it paved the way for people to incorporate this work into everything we do and find ways to reconcile with the past.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada shares that reconciliation is an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships. A critical part of this process involves repairing damaged trust and following through with concrete actions that demonstrate real societal change.
The Government of BC made a legal commitment to reconciliation by implementing the UN Declaration in its own BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and further developing the Declaration Act Action Plan, which includes 89 specific actions every ministry in government will take to create a better province for Indigenous Peoples in BC.
Destination BC upholds the UN Declaration, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Declaration Act Action Plan. We will continue to respect Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and lands and take action to grow a sustainable, authentic Indigenous cultural tourism industry in BC. Tourism is about sharing the truth of British Columbia, and we have a role to play in that storytelling and story sharing.
While Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities include respecting Indigenous values and ways of being, reconciliation goes beyond that. Destination BC has a legal commitment and government-to-government responsibility. It is one we honour and prioritize within this strategy.
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