The other morning on the radio, I heard Eddie Skookum, chief of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, refer to his July 4 assault on his girlfriend in Haines, Alaska, as a “mistake.”
I’m paraphrasing the following, but he said something to the effect that his community will forgive him.
That community forgiveness is a positive message for youth. That a person can make a “mistake” and be forgiven. What I find disturbing is that he’s not going to resign as chief because of his “mistake” (the quotation marks are mine).
A miscalculation on your taxes, that’s a mistake. Making a soy latte instead of a milk latte Ã also a mistake.
Skookum’s assault on his girlfriend can hardly be described as a mistake.
The position of chief of a First Nation is one of respect and power, and those issues are also present in partner violence.
That the chief of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation doesn’t see a need to resign from his position really puts his decision-making and leadership into question.
I support the citizens of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation who are calling for Skookum to resign.
In fact, all Yukoners should be supporting these people.
Partner violence is not limited to one segment of our community, and the deafening silence from Yukoners, particularly Yukon women’s organizations, on this issue is shameful.
There have been more letters to the editors of local newspapers about saving Trevor the biting dog and the teenager who raced his dirt bike into a barricade on a non-motorized trail (good thing he’s “made out of rocks”), than there have been about Skookum’s refusal to resign as chief of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation.
Resign, do the counselling, do the work, then run for re-election.