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LETTER: Prejudice has no place in South Cariboo

A letter to the editor of the 100 Mile Free Press
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Email letters to editor@100milefreepress.net

Dear Editor,

We are saddened to learn of the “Awake in the Cariboo” event at 108 Ranch Community Hall, on June 21 and 22, featuring Tanya Gaw, founder of Action4Canada. We are also disappointed that the 108 Ranch Community Association stands behind this event despite growing calls for its cancellation by a concerned Cariboo community.  

Given the hate, fear and misinformation expressed and promoted by Action4Canada towards 2SLGBTQ+ community, SOGI education, Truth and Reconciliation, and Residential School truth in education, it’s a greater heartache that this event falls on National Indigenous Peoples Day, during National Indigenous History Month and global Pride Month. If you visit Action4Canda’s website you’ll find that women’s rights, immigrants, refugees and folks of any faith other than Christian also come under attack.

We feel that public events that express and encourage prejudice and hate towards any group in our community cause an immeasurable amount of fear and pain. It triggers trauma, decreases folks’ sense of safety and compounds the fact that targeted groups are generally already struggling in daily ways against systemic and direct prejudice. Our society has a long way to go to make reparations for historic wrongs and achieve full inclusivity and equity.  Holding this event in public is dangerous, sending a message that encourages folks to be more overt in words and actions with their prejudices.

The Cariboo isn’t alone in opposing Action4Canada events in their communities. Port Alberni showed up to successfully protest such an event.  Our desire is that our communities refuse the sentiment behind this event from establishing roots in the Cariboo. That there be no misconception that the Cariboo offers nourishing soil for these ideologies.

Sincerely,

Mary de Boer, Patrick Egan

South Cariboo