Lhtako Dené Nation Chief Clifford LeBrun. (Observer file photo)

Lhtako Dené Nation Chief Clifford LeBrun. (Observer file photo)

First Nation leaders demand an end to racism in Quesnel

Systemic racism, violence witnessed daily, say chiefs of Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance

Four B.C. First Nations are speaking out against systemic racism and violence against Indigenous peoples in Quesnel.

Chiefs of the Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance, which includes Lhoosk’uz Dene (Kluskus), Lhtako Dene (Red Bluff), Nazko and Ulkatcho (Anahim), want RCMP to work with their communities to end what they call a cycle of injustice, humiliation and discrimination faced by their members.

The call is also being supported by ?Esdilagh First Nation (Alexandria).

It comes after RCMP said they were investigating the actions of a security guard who detained a woman as well as multiple thefts and fraudulent purchases that led up to the Oct. 29 incident.

A two-minute video of the altercation between the young woman of the Ulkatcho First Nation and male security guard outside of Save-On-Foods at West Park Mall drew swift condemnation shortly after it was posted online. The guard has no affiliation with Cariboo Security Ltd., the company confirmed.

Read More: Quesnel RCMP investigating West Park Mall confrontation caught on video

Lhtako Dene First Nation Chief Clifford Lebrun said the display of racism and brutality is just one of several instances of systemic racism and violence that First Nations witness on a daily basis.

The Chiefs added that a stronger relationship founded on trust and respect is direly needed between First Nations and law enforcement in Quesnel and area.

“I think racism exists in our society, and Quesnel is no different than any other place,” said Quesnel RCMP Sgt. Commander Darren Dodge.

Dodge has been with the Quesnel detachment since 2014 and described RCMP’s relationship with First Nations in and surround Quesnel as ‘very’ positive.

“Beginning in January, we hope to have what is called a Chiefs Committee set up between myself and chiefs of the various First Nations,” he said, noting the formation of such a committee is the result of a Nov. 9 meeting with Lebrun and ?Edilagh Chief Roy Stump.

“I’m open to any and all suggestions, and we hope to build on our relationship now and make a better relationship between all of us,” Dodge added.

Letter to Quensel RCMP by S… by WL Tribune

The Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre (QWRC) is urging West Park Mall to review their security procedures and ensure security staff are appropriately trained, including diversity and inclusion training and anti-racism training.

“To say race was not a factor does not take into account the broad systemic inequalities which are ingrained in our society,” QWRC said in a statement.

“Furthermore, this situation exemplifies the level of gender-based violence targeted at women, especially Indigenous women and women of colour in our community.”

Ulkatcho Chief Lynda Price said they have asked the Quesnel RCMP to take steps to meaningfully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth to Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action to “ensure the survival, dignity and well-being of our members living in Quesnel and beyond.”

“We as an institution and we as a society will always have to do better,” Dodge said.

“With the assistance of our partners and the First Nations, hopefully, we can make meaningful steps to address racism.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CaribooFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maggie Ferguson continues to deliver pet food to communities in B.C’s Central Interior and North. She hopes to make things easier by eventually purchasing a truck and trailer through fundraising efforts. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)
From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read