Letter: Forum comment about Secwepemc territory disrespectful, disturbing

At the recent meet-the-candidate forum, I was shocked by the disrespect shown by an attendee after the acknowledgment of the Secwepemc territory.

“Oh, give it a rest,” he called out, loud enough for all to hear. The subtext I heard was, “Stop whining about losing your land and get over it.”

I wonder how he would have felt if someone had shouted the same comment during the moment of silence at a Memorial Day service? Perhaps the outburst was a warning that when the significance of an acknowledgment is not understood, there is the risk of it becoming formulaic, void of meaning.

Related: Reconcili-Action gives Canadians next steps for reconciliation

So here it is: We are acknowledging that there is a history here in Salmon Arm, the unceded territory of the Secwepemc People. That history affected and continues to affect generations of Indigenous people. We are acknowledging that they were on the land before us, that we were not invited guests and that we committed, and continue to commit, tremendous wrongdoing in order to gain control.

Before we can “give it a rest,” we need to listen to the stories recorded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and understand the horrors inflicted on Indigenous people, because these atrocities give us context for what is happening in our communities today. Reconciliation involves admitting this shared history so that we can engage with each other in more ethical and respectful ways.

This man’s disrespect was upsetting to many and shows that we need continued education and public awareness if reconciliation is to be successful.

Serena Caner


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Graveside view of Salmon Arm history

Deborah Chapman leads annual tour at Mount Ida Cemetery

In Photos: Pumpkin cannons fired in food bank fundraiser

Salmon Arm’s DeMille’s Farm Market helps raise food and funds for Salvation Army

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Early morning fire destroys Tappen home

Firefighters from Tappen-Sunnybrae and Shuswap fire departments respond

Shuswap Connextions seeks inclusion

Group stresses importance of a community that values diverse abilities

Graveside view of Salmon Arm history

Deborah Chapman leads annual tour at Mount Ida Cemetery

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Resolution found in Vernon car-surfing death case: defence

Byron James Walterhouse will appear to fix a date for disposition Oct. 18

Most Read