Williams Lake City Councillor Marnie Brenner issued an apology for comments she made about residential schools at a Council meeting this past Tuesday night.
The Williams Lake Indian Band was frustrated by it calling for Councillor Brenner’s resignation and an apology from the City.
In a written statement Brenner said, “I would like to offer my sincere apology for my comments made at the Council meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, and to clarify my position with some context”.
Brenner said “As an Aboriginal woman adopted by a non-Aboriginal family in the 1960s, I have my own thoughts about reconciliation and other contemporary indigenous issues because of my lived experience. I acknowledge my words were poorly chosen and may have come across as insensitive and I apologize to those who thought they were a slight against survivors of residential schools and were hurt by them. This was not my intention. Rather, it was to highlight the importance and value of honest, open dialogue around truth and reconciliation, especially around the many difficult things that Aboriginal people face daily. It’s a discussion that I believe needs to continue as we move forward together”.
At Tuesday night’s Council meeting Councillor Brenner spoke about reconciliation saying in a presentation that was given to the City by the WLIB on their cannabis cultivation facility, they talked a lot about Truth and Reconciliation.
Brenner said “I don’t think there’s any person in Williams Lake that does not acknowledge that there were some really terrible things that have happened at 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”.