Work with First Nations, Mr. Harper

Work with First Nations, Mr. Harper Open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MP Ryan Leef, and Yukon MLAs: I would like to begin with the statement, "It's not your fault Mr. Harper, or the fault of your political associates, you did not know time ha

Open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MP Ryan Leef, and Yukon MLAs:

I would like to begin with the statement, “It’s not your fault Mr. Harper, or the fault of your political associates, you did not know time has past. First Nations of Canada know our role in this current time to help create the future of our communities, and the environment we all live in. We are the seventh generation.”

I may have sounded assertive in that statement, however First Nations are ready to choose the path Canada is to follow in the development of this country. To state “Canada’s goals cannot be in isolation as you see them,” is an understatement considering Bill C-45.

First Nations did not stop adapting in times of great change. We did not stop our sacred ceremonies, songs, and dances. We did not stop believing in our communities of courage, strength, honour, respect, love, and humility.

We did not stop believing in stories our great ancestors shared with us, to remind how we can move forward in a good way. We did not change our priorities of health and wellness of our communities on this good road we call life.

We did not stop helping people based on the colour of their skin nor where they are born. What we didn’t do? We didn’t try to help you understand what long term is, because that is what are our relationship hinges on.

The big picture is not yet born, Mr. Harper. It will be created and given life in our children’s children. It is our purpose as the first people of this land, to ensure our unborn children of the future be able to drink clean water, eat healthy food, to know who they are, proud of where they come from and to have a good life.

A decision must be made on your part, Mr. Harper, a decision to make that will separate us as communities across this great nation, or bring us together. As nations, to a nation, we will honour you and respect you if we are respected and honoured like-wise. We will stand our ground and develop this great country we call Canada, based on our new relationship and voice. To build on our relationship, we need to identify how we can share goals for the betterment of Canada and First Nations people. Goals of what we want now, to the future.

Keeping in mind our children, our identity, the land and water which provides so much for us in return. Goals towards mending dominance and control over one-another, goals towards realizing and enacting the self-determination our communities are working towards. Goals of respectful leadership, which leads Canada with honesty, peace, dignity, healing and deep recognition to Mother Earth for our global relations to learn from, and follow.

It will be work, yes. However, I want this beautiful Earth and its people to be here for a long time, not a short time.

Sean Drury Smith

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberly Armstrong, creator of Glimmer of Hope, poses for a photo with examples of toys for packages she is putting together. The care packages are for children who have suffered abuse, trauma, illness or sudden loss. (Kimberly Armstrong/Submitted)
Kids experiencing trauma will receive gifts from new charity

A Whitehorse woman is compiling care packages for children who have suffered… Continue reading

Sport Yukon held its 45th annual Member Awards on Dec. 3, recognizing the achievements of nearly 80 athletes, coaches, volunteers and administrators from 16 different organizations. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Sport Yukon hands out the hardware, virtually

Awards ceremony recognizes athletes, coaches, volunteers and administrators

Commissioner of Yukon Anglique Bernard, in her role as Chancellor of the Order of Yukon, announced the 2020 Order of the Yukon inductees in a statement Dec. 2. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Order of Yukon inductees announced

Ten Yukoners will receive territory’s highest honour

The primary goal of the new relief package for tourism operators is to support the tourism sector, whether they’re private industry or not-for-profit organizations, said Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Relief program offers funds for businesses that rely on tourists for more than half their revenue

Two new streams of funding, in addition to the accommodation relief program, were announced

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Climate emergency, lite edition

Back in September 2019, Whitehorse City Council declared a climate emergency, to… Continue reading

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

In 1909, Joseph Kavetzki took over Brown’s Harness Shop, depicted here, reconstructed, 90 years later. Third Avenue in Dawson, south of Princess Street, was the heart of the blue collar industrial section of gold rush Dawson. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)
History Hunter: The Yukon is rich in hidden history

I had worked for a few months in my new position as… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Kindness, shingles and speed limits

Letters to the editor published Dec. 4, 2020

ASDF
COMMENTARY: Land use planning must include industry

Carl Schulze Special to the News This commentary is a response to… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Most Read