|Open Letter: Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command - Racism is not tolerated in any form|
August 17, 2012
Bob Brady, President
Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command
152-5489 Byrne Road
Burnaby, BC V5J 3J1:
As President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, I am writing to express the collective outrage of our membership in regard to the blatantly racist 'joke' recently published in the Cranbrook BC branch of the Royal Canadian Legion newsletter.
The so-called joke describes the deliberate shooting/murder of two aboriginal males by white hunters in the province of Saskatchewan. A copy of which is attached for your review.
I am astonished at Royal Canadian Legion officials at the legion and BC/Yukon Command levels were completely dismissive and cavalier in their response to initial complaints about the highly offensive racist joke in their publication. RC Legion officials maintained that the so-called joke was simply a joke and not at all a newsworthy item. When public backlash began to build, however, the Royal Canadian Legion began to take steps to address the situation.
I would like to point out an irrefutable fact; thousands of Aboriginal men and women served Canada, with distinction, during World War I & II, Korea and Vietnam. In addition, many of our peoples served in in innumerable international peacekeeping missions, the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
Consequently, we proudly honor and treasure our Aboriginal Veterans.
Therefore, in the memory of our Aboriginal Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada and in the spirit of the Residential School Apology and Canada's endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; we demand a formal, written public apology to all of the families of our Aboriginal Veterans.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip