The Speaker of British Columbia's legislature says the unveiling of Indigenous-themed signs outside the building is a necessary step toward opening doors that have been historically closed.
Raj Chouhan says the B.C. legislature is the province's largest symbol of colonialism, but it's his priority to make the building a more welcoming and inclusive place.
He says a ceremony today where engraved Indigenous language signs were permanently attached to the stone sidewalk perimeter of the building represent symbols of progress that would not have been welcome years ago.
Hereditary Chief Edward Thomas Sr. says the presence of Indigenous language signs at the legislature, the former site of a village for the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, is a show of respect to the past and an open door to the future.
He says he can see more Indigenous people coming to the legislature now that the signs are there to acknowledge their history and contributions.
Chouhan says the signs include seven messages in the Lekwungen language and their English translations, including one that says, "It is good that you settlers are one together with the Lekwungen people."