Respect First Nations

Respect First Nations I sat in the Yukon legislative assembly to listen to the tribute made for the late J.J. Van Bibber. Before entering I was asked if I had shut off my cellphone. While listening to the tribute, I observed Darrell Pasloski signing off

I sat in the Yukon legislative assembly to listen to the tribute made for the late J.J. Van Bibber. Before entering I was asked if I had shut off my cellphone.

While listening to the tribute, I observed Darrell Pasloski signing off his Christmas cards and numerous members of the Yukon Party using their cellphones to text message.

A few weeks ago, when leaving the legislature, I was told that the House Speaker did not like how I was sitting. I had extended my leg in front of me as it was cramping. Today as I was leaving I was told that it was disrespectful that I wore my fur beaded hat/headdress to hear a tribute to a Yukon First Nations elder.

I am First Nations, and as a First Nations person in Canada I consider discriminatory the continued double-standards that the courts and government impose of the citizens of this territory. I was not wearing a toque advertising a sporting event; I was wearing a traditional headdress, which is not a hat in my considered opinion.

By example the Yukon Party should lead. Telephones should be shut off, and I would suggest that the cards that Mr. Pasloski was signing could be done outside of the sitting of the legislature. If I was from India and I wore a turban into the legislature, would you tell me to take it off?

Minister Currie Dixon was quoting Ken Coates and describing the legacy of the residential school and the assimilation policies of the federal and territorial governments. Who are any of you to determine what is traditional headdress of any First Nations person in Canada?

I have launched a lawsuit against the territory’s Department of Justice for their continued obstruction to justice in respect to Regina v. Bonnefoy. Back off with your discriminatory dress codes!

Linda Bonnefoy

Whitehorse