SIIA is unique in our approach to covering the Indigenous guest community with our law. This is in line with the traditional teachings of the territory that guide Nations to be good hosts to those residing on their territory.  

We have found through our engagement activities that many of the values highlighted by our Nations are also reflected within the guest community (such as that “it takes a community to raise a child”). We also acknowledge, however, that there are several unique considerations we need to take into account as we sketch out how our law will be implemented within the Indigenous Guest community.  

At our recent gathering at UVIC with the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (CIRCLE), many of the questions we asked the experts in attendance were around our Indigenous guest community. Some of the questions we asked included:  

How do we define ‘Indigenous Guests?’” 

How do we avoid being arbitrators of Indigeneity?”  

“How do we effectively capture the scope and demographics of urban guest community?” 

“What structures should we consider setting up to work through the multi-jurisdictional landscape of the guest community?”  

A key point that was brought forward was that we should embrace Indigenous self-identification from those who choose to receive services through SIIA as opposed to the province. This was highlighted as this approach aligns with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. 

So many good conversations were had around these questions, and we look forward to incorporating our learnings into our next draft of our legislation and technical document!