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T’Sou-ke Nation and District of Sooke reaffirm committment to work together

‘There is so much emotion: grief, anger and sadness’
Chief Gordon Planes and Mayor Maja Tait proudly stand and work together on the lands of the T’Sou-ke Nation. (Submitted/District of Sooke)

The T’Sou-ke Nation and the District of Sooke released a joint statement Monday reaffirming their relationship and saying they’re committed to working together for the future.

“While some of the work taking place between the T’Sou-ke Nation and the District of Sooke is not yet ready to be shared with our communities, please know it is taking place – and that it is an honour to be doing this work together,” they wrote.

“In recognizing the past and in our commitment to our future, we gratefully acknowledge that we are standing in the present – together.”

The T’Sou-ke council and District of Sooke council have had a signed memorandum of understanding to formalize their communication protocol since about 2007, and it was updated in 2019.

Currently, the two councils are working on a process to communicate more with the communities.

“As Canadians have been learning more about our history with residential schools in recent weeks, both councils have been receiving a lot of queries, concerns and ideas. Reacting in haste does not always lead to the best outcome, but we did want to acknowledge how people are feeling. There is so much emotion: grief, anger and sadness. So we wanted to bring us all together and say that we are standing together,” Mayor Maja Tait said in an interview.

Over the past year, she said district council has made it a priority to improve how the municipality does business with and communicates with the T’Sou-ke Nation council.

T’Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes was not available for comment.

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