On May 17, 2013 the City of Williams Lake unveiled two monuments of reconciliation apologizing to First Nations for forcibly taking generations of aboriginal students from their homes and placing them in residential schools.
Mayor Kerry Cook took a leading role in the apology ceremony. She said the monuments are a reminder how to move forward.
She said she wants a city where all people feel welcome and are respected.
Mayor Cook lauds the economic benefits of New Prosperity mine, yet she refuses to blow the whistle on a hostile intrusion into Xeni Gwet’in territory.
Is she proposing we apologize to the Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in First Nation in 30 years after plunking a mine down in their midst against their wishes?
Mayor Cook plays down First Nations opposition to the mine saying she needs to acknowledge that some of her First Nations neighbours are against it.
By not taking a firm moral stand on how Taseko Mines Ltd. conducts its business with First Nations, Mayor Cook is complicit with invading Xen Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in territory and pushing them aside.
She is condoning the colonial attitude of conquering and disrespecting the people who live there.
What is Mayor Cook prepared to do to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself and that cultural genocide, environmental racism, and human rights violations don’t occur under her watch?