Racism hot topic at FSIN special assembly

From paNOW
August 22, 2016 - 11:46am Updated: November 17, 2016 - 12:36pm

A lot of hate has been spread on social media in the aftermath of theshooting death of Colton Boushie.

Rural Municipality of Browning councilor, Ben Kautz, posted a comment stating farmer Gerald Stanley's "only mistake was leaving three witnesses".

That is just one example of what has been seen online.

"It's just not right," said ColinMachiskinic, 16. "We can deal with it, but it is up to the people who discriminate against us. It is up to them to change."

Machiskinic was at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) special assembly at the First Nations University (FNUniv) Monday.

The chiefs came together to vote on the new casino in Lloydminster but the issue of racism was hard to ignore by those speaking.

Calls for something to be done - for action, not words - were uttered by all those at the meeting, particularly the leadership.

FSIN youth rep. Andre Bear spoke of the fear many First Nations youth feel.

"People like us are even scared to travel around, there is so much racial tension and fear," Bear said. "It is unbelievable how dehumanized First Nations youth in this province feel."

There is some hope coming from the tragic shooting. While expressing the pain his people are going through, Chief Clint Wuttunee said there has been some positive thoughts sent their way.

"I've had people in the RM of Glenside expressing their sorrow and sympathies for Red Pheasant (First Nation), there are some good people out there, there are some good farmers out there," Wuttunee said.

Appearing on behalf of the government, Minister of Government Relations Jim Reiter admitted things had become "inflamed" and called for people to let the RCMP and the justice system do its work.

"Some of the comments made are just completely unacceptable," Reitersaid.

Kenilee Pelletier, 17, is hoping change will come.

"What if my children have to face this even worse, I feel like if something is not done about it now, what's the future even hold for me, what is even better"?


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