FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reacting to comments ascribed to Councillor Shafiq Dogar regarding Indigenous people, three boards representing the Conklin community jointly call for clarity. They are Conklin Métis Local 193, the Conklin Community Association and the Conklin Resource Development Advisory Committee.
The committees jointly request that video or audio-tape of the meeting be released so the Councillor’s words can be scrutinized in context and with clarity.
However, there is no question that stereotypes of Indigenous people are widespread and damaging, especially in the RMWB. This controversy reinforces the need for elected officials and administration to better understand the communities that lie outside of Fort McMurray. That takes more than just a sensitivity training session, or words of empathy. It requires that Mayor and Council actually spend time in those communities, making that a regular part of their schedules, and incorporating the realities and needs of RMWB Indigenous peoples into their legislative agendas. Indigenous people in the RMWB are tired about being talked about, instead of talked to.