Bev Sellars: Beggars in Our Own Home No More

Heather O’Sullivan

Gabriola From Truth to Reconciliation Committee

Tuesday, January 9 2018

Informed by Bev Sellars own very personal take on the history of Aboriginal rights in Canada, “Beggars in Our Own Home No More” examines the potential for reconciliation through the lens of Indigenous and non-Indigenous economies. This presentation is part of the ongoing From Truth to Reconciliation Speakers Series. Shelagh Rogers will be the MC for this special event on January 27th from 7-9 pm at the Surf Lodge.

“The loss of our traditional lands, loss of our own decision-making ability, and government underfunding in our communities have taken their toll,” Bev writes. “It is clear to me that several structural problems stand in the way of Aboriginal peoples – problems entrenched in Canada’s constitution, laws and culture and rooted in the Indian Act, which was drafted in 1876.”

Bev Sellars is a former Councillor and Chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, BC. She worked as a community advisor for the BC Treaty Commission and served as representative for the Secwepemc communities on the Cariboo Chilcotin Justice Inquiry. Bev has spoken out on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region. She has a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from UBC. 

An award-winning author, Bev’s first book was They Called Me Number One, a memoir of her childhood experience in the Indian residential school system and its effects on three generations of women in her family. Her new book, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival, looks at the history of Indigenous rights in Canada from an Indigenous perspective. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Shelagh Rogers is a recipient of the Order of Canada in recognition of her work in truth and reconciliation, a longstanding Honourary Witness to the work of the TRC, and an active and enthusiastic promoter of Indigenous literature for the past decade on CBC’s The Next Chapter, where she has interviewed Bev Sellars twice.

As part of our group’s commitment to walking the path of reconciliation, the From Truth to Reconciliation Steering Committee embraces our duty of care to recognize and respect the Snuneymuxw people on whose unceded territories we live. In particular, we acknowledge our responsibility to observe protocol, and are grateful to the Elders who have accepted our invitations to come and be part of our events, and to support us through traditional welcomes and prayers. If you would like to learn more about protocol, perhaps with the goal of beginning your own organization’s path of relationship building, please visit https://aboriginal.viu.ca/elders-viu. A portion of donations received by the From Truth to Reconciliation Speakers Series goes to cover the cost (including honouraria) of bringing Elders to our community events.

This presentation is generously hosted by The Surf Lodge and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Gabriola Library. While the presentation is free, advance registration is essential. You can sign up in person at the Gabriola Library, or call 250-247-7878 to register. You may contact the From Truth to Reconciliation Committee by calling 250.247.7587 or email: gabriola.reconciliation@gmail.com. We welcome volunteers, input and financial support.