The province of British Colombia has made an official apology in the BC Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, seeking forgiveness for the wrongful hanging of six Tsilhqot’in war chiefs in 1864 and 1865. The province acknowledged to have invited five chiefs to discuss terms of peace in order to end the Chilcotin War in 1864, and to have had instead imprisoned, tried and executed them in October. Almost a year later, a sixth chief was also hanged.
According to the statement issued by B.C. Premier Christy Clark, the B.C.’s will also try to exonerate the chiefs as much as possible. The public statement was part of a promise made earlier in the letter of understanding between the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) and the Province of British Columbia made on September 10, 2014. The apology was part of a mutual agreement to address necessary healing around a difficult history for First Nations people within the Tsilhqot’in territory, including mistreatment, misrepresentation, and a lack of recognition.