Treaty 2 Territory – The Anishinaabek of the Treaty 2 territory face racism on regular basis. There are many forms of racism including overt acts of racism, systemic racism entrenched into institutions, and microaggressions enacted through subtle comments and/or body language making them more difficult to prove and call out. Some sources refer to microaggressions as “unintentional”. If this is the case, though, it doesn’t make them any less hurtful.
A blatant racist comment was made on social media by Facebook account name, Karen Sliworsky, regarding an incident in Pinaymootang First Nation. This person wrote in the comment sections of the story: “Let them kill each other best thing ever to happen lol” (Source: Facebook). The public comment has since gone rampant on social media originally posted as a comment on a local radio station Facebook page.
This is not a first-time incident. We are reminded of the flyers put on vehicles during a OCN Blizzard game in the late 90’s and comments made on a daily basis by individuals regarding Anishinaabe people. And we are reminded of the experiences of the students who attended Dauphin Residential School. Racism flows through the veins of Canada’s history and its present. And we are all a witness to those truths being revealed here—and around the world today. Reconciliation cannot truly transpire until we face truth.
In addressing the comment made, FNT2T Grand Chief Eugene Eastman states: “We, too, are angered about this statement. No person should ever say something like this or support something like this. Our Local Nation of Pinaymootang is working hard daily and a statement like this should have never been made.” A statement such as Sliworsky’s devalues human life. We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator. The Creator places value on every human life.
On August 28, 2019, during the FNT2T Grand Council at Lake Manitoba, a resolution was passed that supports mandatory Lateral Kindness Training for FNT2T staff and Chiefs, Councils & Members. Lateral Kindness Training is provided through the FNT2T Government. This includes non-Anishinaabe people within the territory when working with FNT2T.
The First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory is a government that is working hard toward addressing systemic racism and societal reform through educational awareness and transformation including circles that will address the area of Justice and Peacekeeping.
In these most recent times, as the world faces a pandemic, and at one point a global shutdown, if there are lessons to be learned it is that we are all human, no one is immune, and we are not in control. Let’s learn (and unlearn). Let’s do better.
For further details please contact FNT2T Communication Keeper, Ray Mousseau at 204.638.3797 Ext 1002 – email@example.com
Treaty 2 Territory Portal – www.treaty2territory.com