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About B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

Last updated: February 6, 2024

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The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is an independent, quasi-judicial body created by the B.C. Human Rights Code. The Tribunal is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating, and adjudicating human rights complaints. The Tribunal offers the parties to a complaint the opportunity to try to resolve the complaint through mediation. Respondents have an opportunity to respond to a complaint and to apply to dismiss a complaint without a hearing. If the parties do not resolve a complaint and the complaint is not dismissed, the Tribunal holds a hearing.

The Tribunal is located at Robson and Seymour Streets in downtown Vancouver, on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish people.

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 Oceanspray flower
HRT logo

The central form of the logo is a stylized depiction of the Oceanspray flower (Holodiscus discolor). For many First Nations, Oceanspray is valued for its straight hard stems and is called:

  • qálxay’ (digging-stick plant) in the Sḵwxwú7mesh language,
  • qáthəłp (fish-spear prong plant) in the Hul’qumi’num’ language of the Quw’utsun, Stz’uminus and Snuneymuxw, and
  • pátsʔ-az’ (digging-stick plant) in the Stl’atl’imx language.

The Oceanspray blooming in early summer was a sign for the:

  • WSÁNEC’ (Saanich) people that it was time to start reefnet fishing for sockeye, and, for the
  • Tl’a’amin, it indicated the time to harvest butter clams.

The gathering of blossoms conveys the ideas of community and harmonious relations.

The Tribunals’ commitment to accessibility, fairness and equality is symbolized by the sturdiness of the stems and its usage.

References: Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2017. Holodiscus discolor (Pursh) Maxim. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Lantz, Trevor and Nancy J. Turner. 2003. Traditional Phenological Knowledge of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia. Journal of Ethnobiology 23(2): 263-86, Turner, Nancy J. 1998. Plant Technology of British Columbia First Peoples. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver and Royal BC Museum, Victoria, Turner, Nancy J. 2014. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. (2-vols.). McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, QC.Turner, Nancy J. and Richard Hebda. 2012. Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSÁNEC’ People. Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria.

Alice Joe, Graphic Designer