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Quesnel formally recognizes Lhtako Dene

The City of Quesnel and the Lhtako Dene Nation have started down the road toward reconciliation.

Quesnel council held an open session Tuesday night to formally recognize that the City of Quesnel is on the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene and to enter into a formal protocol agreement.

Mayor Bob Simpson says the process began two years ago with a council resolution to begin the work of recognition and reconciliation with all four Southern Carrier Nations beginning with the Lhtako Dene, also known as the Red Bluff Band.

Tuesday’s event began with an official smudge and prayer outside city hall followed by a signing ceremony with Chief Clifford Lebrun and Simpson, and the unveiling of a Lhtako Dene welcome sign.

The city says it intends to deepen the relationship and eventually build a new cultural centre at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers.

Simpson says dialogue with the other Southern Carrier bands toward similar formal relationships is also underway.

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