The Honorable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC, made an official visit on August 17th to meet with Tsilhqot’in National Government Chiefs and community members.
TNG Chief Joe Alphonse said in 2019 the lieutenant governor received an invitation to visit but was delayed until last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Three years ago we had a meeting with her in Victoria and we invited her to come up but the pandemic hit and three years later she finally showed up. It was a real honor to have her, she was really excited to be out there and it was a real honor hosting her. We took her to our culture camp, we had our elder Emily Dick give her a nature walk, met with some of our youth, and had a nice Chilcotin wagon ride,” Alphonse said.
The Lieutenant Governor’s trip marks the first time a representative of the Crown in British Columbia has made an official visit to Tsilhqot’in lands since the declaration of Aboriginal title.
Austin said in a release “I was greatly inspired by the thoughtful and informative conversations had with Tsilhqot’in Chiefs and Councillors. It is with humble gratitude that I was able to spend time with the remarkable Elders, youth, and leaders of this community.”
Alphonse noted that the next day was the Lieutenant Governor’s birthday and the TNG hosted a celebration for her in 150 Mile House which she was very touched by.