I am writing in response to the support shown Chief Eddie Skookum by the elders’ council.
I can understand the desire to support anyone who has experienced substance abuse and perpetrated violence against any member of the community, in fact against an intimate partner.
Clearly, such behaviour is that of a troubled human being who needs our support. I honour the elders’ council’s right to determine the nature of the support that they offer Skookum.
At the same time, I wait to hear what support they will give to others in the community who also need their absolute understanding and affirmation.
I am speaking of the women of the community and indeed, all Yukon women.
To support Skookum without announcing a clear and determined action to end violence against women would be unconscionable. Such an action would indicate a complacency toward violence and send a message to women that they are citizens whose lives and well-being simply do not matter.
I look forward to hearing more from the council. As we are in November, a month of action to end violence against women, this would be an ideal time to let us know what the plan of action will be.
We’re eagerly waiting to hear that plan.
Nyingje Norgang, women’s advocate, Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre