By Tawnya Plain Eagle
Piikani Nation member continues to pressure the Alberta government to remove individuals who have made racist comments against the Indigenous population.
In a letter to Premier Jason Kenney, Adam North Peigan, president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous society of Alberta, demands the immediate removal of speechwriter Paul Bunner and Chris Champion who is was recently appointed to sit on Alberta’s curriculum review panel.
“The government of Alberta is basically ignoring the concerns coming out of Indigenous leaders in the province of Alberta,” North Pegian said
Last month North Peigan held a press conference asking Premier Jason Kenney to remove Bunner following continuous reports of racist comments he made towards Indigenous people.
“It’s been three weeks and he has not done anything,” North Peigan said.
“He is still employed as a senior government official in the legislature office,” North Peigan added.
Fast forward to yesterday, an article published from CBC stated that Champion who is currently sitting on the kindergarten to grade 4 social studies curriculum review panel referred the KAIROS blanket exercise as a fad.
This had prompted North Peigan to write a letter to Jason Kenney insisting for a second time he remove these two individuals.
In an article published to the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Dorchester Review, Champion makes numerous statements about the current social studies curriculum, claiming it brainwashes children “into thinking of themselves as settlers.”
“When I hear comments that [Champion] undermines the residential schools and put forth the blanket exercise as a fad… it’s ridiculous,” North Peigan said.
He adds that it is detrimental for students not to learn about the true history of Canada because they won’t have the true understanding of the oppression Indigenous people lived through since the beginning of colonization.
“I’m hoping when these young students grow up and enter their respective careers, they’ll have a better understanding of the true history of Canada, and will influence any decisions they make as adults,” North Peigan said.
Fighting for change
Former premier Rachel Notley shared North Peigan’s letter in a Facebook post while demanding the Premier to fire these individuals.
“The path Jason Kenney’s inner circle is going down does not lead Alberta towards reconciliation,” Notley said in her post.
In another Facebook post MLA Richard Feehan, called upon Kenney and Minister of Indigenous Relations, Rick Wilson to stand up for the rights of Indigenous people.
The Alberta government is going to continue to implement policies and procedures as they see fit, North Peigan is grateful the opposition party is bringing forward what Albertans are saying in regard to Indigenous relations.
“We have to keep up with the pressure for significant changes to happen,” North Peigan says.
North Peigan says he will continue to fight for change in the legislature.