Dear Mr. Ken Allred,
In response to your column dated July 24, 2019, “Inflammatory Language is Harmful”: I ask you to consider looking in the mirror.
As an Indigenous woman, I cannot help but take this highly prejudicial narrative you have written personally.
You struggle to use the appropriate vernacular which suggests you have not informed yourself on the topic of Indigenous rights and colonial Indigenous feminism. Have you considered that the words you have written are nothing more than uninformed regurgitation of oppressive genderized violence against Indigenous women – both literal and rhetorical, generated and perpetrated by the colonial agenda?
It is this sort of rhetoric that led to the legislation of the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act (1928-1972) – the only legislated eugenics program within Canada, save British Columbia (1933), which targeted, almost entirely, Indigenous women for coerced sterilization: genocide by definition. You wonder why litigation is necessary? Inform yourself.
The true numbers of MMIWGGD (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Gender Diverse) are controversial given that:
- There was no national database of missing people until 2010,
- There is a confirmed delay in police-reported missing Indigenous MMIWGGD,
- There is often discrepancy between what family and police consider ‘missing’ and ‘foul play’
but the federal Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs confirms that between 1980 and 2012, that 16 per cent of all women murdered in Canada were Indigenous despite Indigenous women representing four per cent of the overall female population.
In other words, Mr. Allred, being an Indigenous woman puts me at four times absolute risk of being murdered compared to my non-Indigenous family, friends and neighbors. And, no, I am not a sex trade worker – and even if I were, I would not merit being held against my will or killed for sport, as your vapid generalization suggests.
So no, it is not simple or straightforward. But please do inform yourself on the historical and contemporary federal and provincial representative involvement as agents of genocide and barriers to survivorship. Then consider again your balk at the word ‘genocide’.
Do not speak or write on things you do not know or understand. Look in the mirror, consider your privilege as a white man – and do not confuse it with knowledge or experience.
Do you wonder if Mr. Michael Cooper was taking your lead when he quoted the Christchurch shooter in a federal parliamentary hearing?
Ms. April Hudson, Mr. Brian Bachynski and Mr. Duff Jamison,
As editor of the St. Albert Gazette, president and CEO of Great West Newspapers, respectively, I ask you to consider looking in the mirror as well.
The St. Albert Gazette continues to be polarized with Indigenous focused news articles and enlightened editorials, yet uninformed and bigoted columns.
We have cancelled our subscription to your paper.
We will be contacting the businesses that advertise in your paper. We will ask if they are aware their hard-earned advertising money is going to support anti-Indigenous rhetoric bordering on pro-nationalist misogyny and racism.
Clearly, you wanted a reaction from your readership. You got it.
C. Felske, St. Albert