This is an issue that has been sidelined in Alberta for too long! Both provincially and nationally our government has failed us in this regard!
Did you know the last Residential School in Canada shut it's doors in the mid 90's and that it wasn't until 2008 that Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally apologized for over 100 years of institutionalized racism?
If you are unaware of what a Residential School is read my blog post about them; Healing From Racism. They were truly horrible! Kids were taken away from their families and forced to live in squalor. Many kids were raped, beaten and forced to work like slaves; many kids never saw their parents again and many kids died. All this, in the name of "civilizing" the Native Culture. This makes me feel ashamed!
Many of the challenges Native People face in Alberta today stem directly from what was done to them. There is a disproportionate representation of Native People in our homeless population in Red Deer. Many problems like addictions, domestic violence and poor literacy rates can be directly linked to the racist policies of our government. Yes, the healing process will be intergenerational but we need to start now.
Side Thought: Why was I never taught about this in school?
It is time for some New Energy in Alberta. We need some new eyes on old problems. We can do better!
There is a lot of talk about "Land Rights" in Alberta. But often the conversation only extends to white farmers not to Native land owners. When the time comes to build a pipeline, a rail way or an electrical utility, Native Land Rights get lip-service, but it often ends there. Same goes for Native Communities that have environmental concerns.
Did you know that 35 minutes from Red Deer there is a place where there are people living WITHOUT access to basic services like running water? I'm talking about Mascwacis (formerly Hobema). I have personally seen homes that do not have working water or sewer utilities! Why in this province; where we have so much wealth, do we have an entire class of citizens completely left out?
We need compassionate and visionary leadership. We need to elect sincere MLA's who will stand up and do what is right by ALL Albertans. I see that in Greg Clark and the Alberta Party.
When I hear Greg Clark speak about "Entering into a new partnership with the Aboriginal Community" I hear a man who is passionate and who will keep his word.
We have a long way to go and there will be no one size fits all solution, but we need to start having sincere conversations about issues like this. Alberta Party MLA's will have a free vote in the Legislature and the Alberta Party is open to grass roots collaboration on policy development.
That means you can have a voice in this government!
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Krystal Kromm is the Alberta Party candidate for Red Deer North.
Check out her website to learn about her platform!