In May 2018, the Township of Langley issued an Evacuation Alert to areas threatened by flooding. The Katzie First Nation was included in the emergency warning, and it was estimated 18,000 sandbags needed to be filled. Fast. A call went out for volunteers.
It was tough work, both exhausting and overwhelming, but also rewarding to work together to support those at risk of losing their homes. To build a community, we need to know our neighbours, to connect with them, to have shared experiences with them. Sandbagging was a team effort, but honestly, there are easier ways to get to know someone!
Members of the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations are residents of the Township of Langley. We don’t have to wait for another disaster to meet our Indigenous neighbours. In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, we need to begin by listening. We need to partner with our First Nations to create opportunities to listen and learn, and then to participate in them when they occur.