LETTER: We are honoured guests

A letter to the editor by Heather Heales

To the editor:

In regards to a letter published from one Dan Westwood, I am appalled.

The amount of disrespect on behalf of the Free Press for choosing to publish this letter and the audacity of Mr. Westwood to speak this way about the First Nations welcome has left me in a shock. Is he unaware that First Nations people settled in this land hundreds of years ago?

We are on their territory, the territory that white men from Europe came over and attempted to wrench from their grasps.

60 years is not even a lifetime. The land we sit on was theirs well in advance. We are their honoured guests.

The First Nations people, after years of being forced into assimilation and being run off their land, choose to allow our families to live on their land, to build towns that rip away at their territories.

The Chief at no point was political. She shared a moving legend to remind us of our roots and to keep us connected to where we came from.

Chief Henderson had every right to welcome us to their land. No politics were involved. As a Metis student who graduated with a First Nations sash, I can say I feel personally attacked.

Of all the speeches, Chief Henderson’s was the one I found rang true for me and was the most meaningful.

No apology is necessary, Chief Henderson was in the right with everything she did the night of our grad ceremony. My fellow students share my utter disgust with this letter being published.

The only extreme disrespect I see shown is that of Mr. Dan Westwood and that of the people who chose to publish his senseless letter.

Heather Heales

108 Mile Ranch

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