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Indigenous people's lives apparently don't matter to Gazette columnist

Ken Allred is offended that the Prime Minister has agreed to the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and has used the term “genocide” to describe the appalling pattern of murder of Indigenous women
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Ken Allred is offended that the Prime Minister has agreed to the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and has used the term “genocide” to describe the appalling pattern of murder of Indigenous women.

To old-school conservatives like Ken Allred, Indigenous people’s lives have never mattered very much. Oh, he may not be among the worst kind of conservatives, the kind who cheer the slaughter of Indigenous men like Colten Boushie, or who repeat the time-worn mantra “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” (a genocidal slogan if ever there was one). In this age of rising alt-right white nationalist violence, this type of attitude is becoming alarmingly more common. Even our own Member of Parliament quotes part of the manifesto of a deranged Islamophobic killer to make political points nowadays.

Allred concedes that the police’s racist policy of sweeping these murders under the rug is a source of “frustration” for native groups. Yes, how “frustrating” that hundreds, even thousands of women are reported murdered and missing, and the prevailing attitude of the police and non-Indigenous society is “who cares?” This uncaring attitude isn’t genocidal enough for Allred, apparently. When two young white tourists are murdered in a remote location in British Columbia it becomes major national news. Hundreds of Indigenous women? Not so much.

Allred even admits that qualifying these targeted murders as “genocide” actually increases the contempt he feels for Indigenous people. “It creates more disrespect for the Indigenous community than it does sympathy.” Expecting sympathy for the murders of Indigenous women? Not likely, judging from Allred’s subjective evaluation of his own beliefs.

Allred concludes by complaining that Aboriginal issues are being confronted by litigation rather than negotiation. Allred doesn’t seem to care about whether these issues will ever be addressed, since decades of negotiation have led nowhere. But that’s fine. Allred seems perfectly content with the current climate of inaction that is leading to the systematic murder of a targeted racial group and the social and judicial system that allows it. Just as long as we don’t hurt his poor little feelings by calling it “genocide.”

Richard Banville, St. Albert




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