Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers
I wanted to give a huge shout-out to Tina at No Frills, and Heather Davis from Edgefield Co-op for their contributions of feminine hygiene products and gift certificates donated to the Strathmore Overnight Shelter, The Strathmore Women’s Shelter, and the Wheatland Food Bank, Strathmore. I was honoured to visit these locations and chat with the amazing women who run these organizations and to be able to highlight their work. Thank you to everyone who participated in our challenge to raise awareness around period poverty and to add to the conversation about healthy feminine hygiene.
Also, a huge shout out to Michelle Aris of Aris Landscaping, the City of Chestermere, Maury Quinney of Along the Lake Landscaping and the Rotary Club of Chestermere for their beautiful installation of the Rotary Edible forest located on the pathway by the canal by the southwest entry. Congratulations to all for your work and for this beautiful contribution to our city.
I will now move on to some issues that I believe need some attention, and I would like to start by apologizing. I, as an Albertan, want to apologize to my First Nations sisters and brothers for the historical wrongs, the death, despair, sexual assault, and destruction of their beautiful culture, traditions, and who they are as people at the hands of our governments, and our churches.
This type of assimilation and destruction was and is cultural genocide, and as we mourn the deaths of the 215 little ones tossed into unmarked graves, we know that more will be found. I am committed to helping our First Nations families in the search for their missing loved ones. This will take a long time, and we need to work with the nations to find out what is needed and the path forward.
It is time for action, and it is time to listen. It is appalling that this was going on until 1996, the year my first son was born. The thought that the state or the church could have taken that sweet child out of my arms leaves me in heaps of tears. I am inconsolable just at the thought. This is a reality that most of us, myself included, have never faced. These deplorable acts are not to be debated. Sir John A. Macdonald and Hector-Louis Langevin, among others, were architects of the residential schools where children died because of disease, neglect, and beatings. This must be part of the history taught. Changing the names of schools and educating people about these atrocities is not “cancel culture.” Cancel culture is what has happened to our First Nations by not acknowledging these atrocities and those responsible. This is a turning point in our province and our country where we can truly start the process of healing, and I am honored to stand with my First Nation sisters and brothers as we navigate our future.
My second apology goes to all Albertans who saw pictures of some ministers, staff, and the Premier having a meal together on the rooftop patio of the federal building or “sky palace”. I am confused and, like you, extremely hurt, and I’m so sorry for any pain, anger, or frustration this may have caused you. All of us make mistakes, but this one is a big one, and I am truly sorry. You’ve had to maneuver, pivot, and adapt to the rules put in place by our government. I can only imagine how disappointed you must be. Our leadership should sincerely apologize. I want you to know that I have diligently followed the rules right alongside all of you as we fight COVID and try and put it in our rear-view mirror. Please continue to wear your masks, wash your hands, keep your distance, and should you choose, please get your vaccination. AHS statistics show that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID since the beginning of the year are people who have not been vaccinated. We will be through this soon if we can just hang on a little longer.
As always, we love to hear from you.