What is ARC?
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What is ARC?
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For over 20 years . . .
The Aboriginal Rights Coalition of British Columbia

We are a coalition of aboriginal organizations, the major churches of Canada, and local community groups.

ARC (BC) has a vision of a Canadian society in which First Nations are free to exercise the legal and political powers necessary to take control over their own lives, territories, and resources.

We believe that these issues represent matters of fundamental justice and human rights for aboriginal and non-aboriginal people alike. We seek to achieve this vision through peaceful change, working to build understanding and reconciliation between native and non-native communities, and supporting fair and equitable treaties.

ARC (BC) is committed to justice for the First Nations of Canada

What does ARC (BC) do?

ARC and its members are involved in the following activities:

bulletResearching issues affecting aboriginal justice
bulletParticipating as observers in the treaty process
bulletOrganizing conferences, workshops, and other educational activities
bulletWorking with aboriginal groups
bulletAnalyzing public policy and providing input and criticism to government
bulletPublishing educational resources
bulletNetworking with other human rights groups.

Since 1975, we have worked with the Haida, Nisga'a, Lubicon, Innu, Dene, Wet'suwet'en, Gitksan, Saanich, and Nuu-chah-nulth nations on such projects as the Daishowa Inc. boycott, NATO low level test flights, the Charlottetown Accord, the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, Amax Inc. chlorine polution, South Moresby logging, and marina development at Saanichton Bay.

In Victoria, look us up in the phone book under Human Rights.

What is ARC?

ARC was founded by a group of Christian churches. Is it some kind of evangelical organization?

No. ARC members include Christians and non-Christians alike - and probably even a representative share of atheists (frankly, I've never even been asked about my beliefs...) In fact, the history of Europeans preaching "solutions" - whether religious or secular - to  First Nations is regarded by ARC as the root of many of the historical wrongs that have been committed. Our aim is to find ways for First Nations to determine their own future, to find their own solutions and to allow them to make their own mistakes.

Does ARC operate independently of the churches?

Although ARC was founded by various church groups (originally as Project North) and continues to receive donations from religious organizations, ARC operates completely independently of any outside organization.

Does ARC support the BC treaty process?

The treaty process is one of those solutions that may or may not be a good one. ARC's position is non-committal: if a band or tribal council chooses to enter or not enter the process, ARC supports them in that decision (provided it is representative of their people). Refer to The BC Treaty Process for more information.

Is ARC a charitable organization for helping First Nations?

Most of the work done by VARC is within the non-Native community, providing education about issues, organizing events and workshops, and so on. It is our belief that the so-called "native problem" is a symptom of a much larger problem stemming from Canada's European colonial heritage, and which has had particularly harsh and unjust consequences for the original inhabitants of this land.