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HomeNews100 Mile HouseWilliams Lake Indian Band Shocked And Frustrated Over City Councillor's Comments

Williams Lake Indian Band Shocked And Frustrated Over City Councillor’s Comments

The Williams Lake Indian Band is calling for the resignation of one member of City Council and an apology from the City of Williams Lake over comments made with respect to residential schools.

On Tuesday night during Councils discussion on a resolution to hold a 30-day online public survey to get feedback on plans by the WLIB to build a cannabis manufacturing facility on IR#6 next to Indigenous bloom, Councillor Marnie Brenner spoke on reconciliation and residential schools.

“The more I talk to the community members in the different areas that I know, I hear more and more of things that, wow that really happened. But I’ve also heard stories of where people when they shut down the schools and they had to go back to school like in Riske Creek where they have been disappointed that they had to leave residential school because they had a pool there”.

In a news release, Williams Lake Indian Band Councillor JoAnne Moiese stated “It’s shocking, upsetting and offensive that in 2020 any elected officials would try to downplay the importance of reconciliation, or a local government’s obligations in relation to reconciliation, by suggesting that residential schools weren’t really such a bad thing. Our community, and First Nations communities across the country, are still struggling to overcome the impacts of residential schools. Children were ripped from their homes, they were stripped of their culture and language and they were physically and sexually abused “.

WLIB Chief Willie Sellars said in the same release “Can you imagine if a government official in the United States stood up and said that slavery wasn’t such a bad thing because black Americans were fed and had a roof over their heads? There would be an incredible outage, and rightfully so. We are in an era where the vast majority of people, including elected officials, are working hard to acknowledge the problems of the past and to root out systemic discrimination. The fact that Councillor Brenner is herself a First Nations individual makes it even worse. We are calling for Councillor Brenner to resign as a member of the City of Williams Lake City Council. We’re further asking that the entire City of Williams Lake Council issue an apology to the First Nations People of Canada.”

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