FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In honour of Aboriginal Awareness and Celebration Day, the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce was host to an evening of ‘Creating Energy – an Indigenous Celebration’ on June 12 at the Lido Theatre.
As part of the Indigenous celebrations, there was traditional drumming, a traditional meal, and a keynote speaker.
The keynote speaker for the night was Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Band.
During his speech, Louie talked about the importance of unity in business between native and non-native communities.
Louie is a strong believer that business is a two-way street and that neighbours need to support each other in order to be successful.
“We’re only a band of 540 people. None of our businesses would survive without the non-native people, companies supporting our businesses. So I tell my people that I want you gassing up in town once in a while. I want you playing in the golf course in town once in a while. I want you to be seen leaving some of your money at non-native businesses because we expect them to come to our Res and be our customers, business is a two-way street. That’s how the regional treaty relationship was meant to be.”
As a supporter of the natural resource industry, Louie says anyone who is against it is a hypocrite as everything we use in our lives, from our homes to electronics, comes from the resource industry.
Chief Louie also touched on how Indian Affairs is a failed formula and the importance of restoring native languages.
For upcoming Chamber events, you can visit fsjchamber.com.