Whitehorse Daily Star

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CityCouncillor Michelle Friesen

Colonialism and racism continue, lawmaker says

The negative effects of Indian residential schools, of colonialism, are still being felt today, says city councillor Michelle Friesen.

By Chuck Tobin on January 25, 2023

The negative effects of Indian residential schools, of colonialism, are still being felt today, says city councillor Michelle Friesen.

She addressed city council at its meeting Monday regarding the history of residential schools and colonialism, and the long-lasting hurt they have caused.

Talking about residential schools is a difficult conversation for many, said Friesen, who went on to first of all provide contact information for organizations that provide support to those who need it.

Locally, she said, people can reach out for outreach and counselling services to the Committee for Abuse in Residential Schools (CAIRS) at 667-2247.

Nationally, the residential school survivors society can be reached at 1-800-721-0066, she pointed out.

“We are still separating Indigenous families,” she told council.

“More than 50 per cent of all children in foster care are Indigenous despite the fact that they make up less than eight per cent of the population in Canada.

“Because of this continued colonialism, racism and discrimination, we know that our women are more likely to be murdered, we are over represented in the justice system, we do not receive fair or compassionate care in the health system, we are disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, homelessness, poverty, and basic needs like clean drinking water continue to be unmet.”

Friesen said every single Indigenous person you know feels the effects of residential schools.

The last residential school in the country didn’t close until 1996, when Friesen said she would have been five years old, or the same age as many of the more than 150,000 children who were forcibly removed from their homes, their families and their culture.

She said there were six residential schools that operated in the Yukon.

There were also residential schools at Shingle Point on the Beaufort Sea coast and in Lower Post, B.C. that housed Yukon First Nation students.

Some of those schools are considered to be some of the most abusive in the country, she note.

Friesen said it’s no coincidence that those communities have experienced some of the highest numbers of opioid deaths in recent years and experience higher rates of violence.

There is, she told council, difficult and important work happening right now by the Chootla Working Group researching and preparing for ground searches at locations in the Yukon.

“I want to acknowledge the strength and courage of all those involved in working to uncover what took place at residential schools not only here but across the country,” she said.

Friesen noted that in the spring of 2021, the bodies of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves elsewhere in the country, shedding light on a truth Indigenous communities have known all too well.

While the the first discovery was in 2021, people knew it would not be the last, she said, pointing out there have been thousands of potentially unmarked graves discovered since then.

People need to ensure that their actions and initiatives toward reconciliation are not just performative, she said.

Friesen said wearing an orange shirt, and giving a land acknowledgement, are signals that people collectively recognize the impact of colonization and cultural genocide.

The councillor said she needs to know that those signals reflect meaningful work that supports arising initiatives like taxi safety for Indigenous women and integrity in the commitments to the Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy.

The signals need to reflect the declaration of commitment to address the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she said.

“If we truly want to work towards reconciliation and equality, that solidarity needs to be continuous and ongoing every day and in every decision that we make,” she said.

“I don’t want to leave behind the same barriers or the same conversations for my son or for our youth and the language we use and the messages we allow here matters in how we pave the way for our future generations – just the way those who came before did for us.”

Comments (67)

Up 6 Down 0

Observer on Jan 31, 2023 at 6:53 pm

Funny not a sentence on the school teacher who was dating a student. Funny how some negative comments started coming in on the so called outfitter and boy that story was shut down pretty darn quick. Funny how a story on First Nations just labors on at the top of the comment section. One has to really wonder?

Up 5 Down 1

Douglas Martens on Jan 31, 2023 at 5:32 pm

i may be late to the party but i'll throw this up, i mean I'll throw this out there:

There are corporations and philanthropic organizations which benefit from dividing people into groups and convincing one group they have been victimized. Does this tactic result in any sort of re-unification? Of course it does not. All it does is to re-open old wounds and stir up resentments where previously there was a desire of most to just get along and enjoy the amazing experience of being alive together!

There are well-moneyed types who derive great pleasure from seeing whole societies collapse into bickering and escalations. Not only great pleasure but equally great profit when the bombs start to drop. Can't we see what is being done to us and to others?

BLM in the states has done something eerily similar in recent years and paying people of other cultures to move into foreign countries is having a similar effect in Europe and the former USA. All to create friction, friction which often results in violence, necessitating the acquisition of arms and military equipment and the indebtedness of nations.

The military industrial complex would starve without conflict and we cannot have that! Can't have peace breaking out!!! The situation in Ukraine didn't happen because some dog pooped on a lawn. It was created by taking the same type of steps Canada is taking today. Did you know that it is illegal in Ukraine to speak Russian, or that there is only one religion allowed to be practised there currently, or that the pianist Z has forbidden any opposition political party to even exist in the country?

Divide and conquer, and in the process indebt whole countries to the global banking machine. Debt is the money of slaves and our leadership is driving us into a future of slavery which will include those who think they are the special pets of this leadership.

Meanwhile the true victimization of all of us by the steady erosion of our rights and freedoms.... continues right on schedule.

Up 23 Down 2

Jason on Jan 31, 2023 at 1:40 pm

This woman virtue signals like no other.

Up 24 Down 3

dentist 47 on Jan 30, 2023 at 6:43 pm

So tired of this complaining. A broken record if you will. And just for the record, does anyone know exactly how much indigenous blood one has to have running through their veins in order to be considered indigenous? Seems to me that a Tablespoon or two works these days.

Up 60 Down 7

Jim Dandee on Jan 30, 2023 at 11:48 am

You reap what you sow. Some interesting comments here. Pointed and blunt some of them, but sorry, I do not see anything hateful. Labelling opinions hateful cause you do not agree with them is simply deflection.
Whether one agrees or not It is good the Star still allows these comments to be posted.

Up 25 Down 10

drum on Jan 29, 2023 at 9:38 pm

I agree with Dave
We are so lucky to be in Canada - we have nothing to complain about - we could be in the Ukraine or Iran etc,

Up 71 Down 7

drum on Jan 29, 2023 at 2:14 pm

In this country, under the present Government, the minority rule the majority and get all the taxpayers hard earned money.

Up 30 Down 8

Josey Wales on Jan 29, 2023 at 7:32 am

Hey drum...good beat today!
That CoW manager you referenced, were they white, or too close to that pigment to alter the optics of ethnics first policy the Marxists fetishize about on the daily?
Or maybe they were managing with meritocracy motivation within that department?
Gawd knows how absolutely forbidden that ideology of meritocracy is in these union and bigotry of lower expectations times we have been engineered too...by a tsunami of stupid via political blowholes and their sycophants!

Drum, please keep beating. We need far more noise, many many more decibels...enough to drown out those scary air horns that brought martial law across this country from coast, to coast alllll the way to the other coast!!

So far above us those civic wizards are, they have many moats around their nobility nests, many drawbridges too the fools use on the daily.
Anything that can be done to maintain THEIR comfort is what motivates our civic wizards, many but not all of their civic managers.

Given the latest team, I’d say take your money outta this local economy, invest nothing in this territory’s future and get ready for a wild expensive ride...they just got started.

Clause would be zo zo proud of our political atmosphere.
Wonder if anyone on our civic team or commi collaboration territory team went to Davos recently?

Up 23 Down 9

Stop the persecution of Albinos now! on Jan 29, 2023 at 6:17 am

Save the Albinos!

People with albinism in Tanzania have a price on their heads – whether dead or alive, adults or children. Albino trafficking is underreported in Tanzania and other countries in East and Southern Africa, where markets for their body parts prosper.

Tanzania hosts the largest rate of people with albinism worldwide. Albinism is a genetic condition where skin lacks the melanin pigment, making a person appear unusually light. While one out of 15 000 people in most African sub-regions has albinism, one out of 1 400 Tanzanians has the condition. A mutation of the albino gene OCA2, which produces the melanin pigment responsible for tanning the skin, is carried (if not exhibited) by one in every 19 Tanzanians.

Albinos are socially alienated and stigmatised. They are often called derogatory terms like ‘ghosts’ and ‘white goats’, says Fundikila Wazambi of the Legal and Human Rights Centre in Tanzania. The stigmatisation means that they aren’t able to fully participate in socio-economic activities or access essential social services, and that their freedom of movement is limited. They are blamed for natural disasters like famine, drought or locust invasions by those who believe that albinos are cursed.

Ironically, people with albinism are valued for their body parts. According to superstition, their limbs, bones, skin and internal organs can be used to make charms, potions, amulets or concoctions that will bring good fortune, health, wealth and even extraordinary or supernatural powers like flying to those who use them.



Up 12 Down 38

David Duke on Jan 28, 2023 at 5:17 pm

I approve all the Anti-FN comments here in the name of free speech. Mr. Facts and Josey Wales should join my new Canadian Nationalist Party that I am forming.

Up 38 Down 9

drum on Jan 28, 2023 at 3:17 pm

A loyal and steadfast employee with over 20 years great service to this community was just fired from the City. They were a manager therefore can be given no notice or reason. The City has a record if doing this on a regular basis to their Management Team. How much does she get paid by the taxpayers to show up for City Council Meetings?

Up 27 Down 7

Holy f@#% on Jan 28, 2023 at 2:38 pm

@Mr Facts
I couldn't have said it any better! Thank you!

Up 68 Down 7

Mark on Jan 28, 2023 at 10:35 am

I am thankful that the Whitehorse Star presented this news item to us, and has facilitated comments, discussion and debate. This information will be of value in deciding if Ms. Friesen - in this case - is someone I would vote for or even employ in the future.

Up 24 Down 6

yukoner82 on Jan 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

@ Mr Facts on Jan 27, 2023 at 3:11 pm and Anon on Jan 27, 2023 at 2:24 pm:
very well said.

Up 20 Down 3

Al on Jan 27, 2023 at 9:09 pm

@ Nathan Living on Jan 26, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Respectfully Nathan, it is nigh time that folks get a opportunity to challenge wokism and air their opinions and frustrations. Frankly, I have found a number of comments of note, respectful and yes - pointed. You can feel the frustration and even some anger in some notes. It is to be expected, for too long many people are tired of what they see and hear. Remember, it was Michelle who opened the door. It would be inappropriate for the Star to halt comments because it does not fit some people's narrative or offends them. There is a lot of truth in what is stated - read the theme, take note and reflect on what is being brought before us and the underlying reasons. Some of the authors have done an excellent job of identifying of the cause and affect. People are striking back and in essence saying "enough is enough, we will not be held hostage any longer".

Up 92 Down 19

Mr Facts on Jan 27, 2023 at 3:11 pm

@Jacklyn Stockstill

I don't hate anyone. And I'm sure the other commentators are the same way. And I totally understand the terrible things that Natives went through. But pretty much every race has experienced terrible things in life. We seemed to have moved on and do the best we can. Not just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming everyone else for their problems.

We are just calling out the BS. People are tired of being divided by race. People are tired of your skin colour determining what benefits you get in society. I thought we were past this? You people are the same, instead of having a logical, thoughtful discussion, your only go-to is to scream hate, racism, or some personal insult. It's rather boring, and oh so predictable. In reality you are the ones who are the problem with society. If it doesn't fit your viewpoint then you attack it. Let's talk instead of insults. No? I actually feel sorry for people like you. Good luck.

Up 64 Down 12

Anon on Jan 27, 2023 at 2:24 pm

History's a very dirty place. Dwelling on it certainly doesn't help, and it really isn't that useful to be racking your brains to find logic bridges that allow a person to blame the innocent members of certain ethnic groups for wrongdoings of people that they never met or shared the earth with at all. All cultures have historical skeletons in the closet, and all of them had practices towards other groups that are abhorrent by todays standards..... that's why it's history, we're supposed to learn from it (not that any of those bad things ever stopped, we were all just given iphones, television, and social media so that those bad things could be presented differently and reframed as something good, and convince us that we're somehow more civilized and distanced from the true nature of humans). It's basically called the law of conquest, and all cultures knew and understood it, and they all indulged in it.
I wonder why the Athabascan cultures of the American Southwest ended up where they currently are from their original origins in Canada and Alaska...... I'm guessing it must've been the warmer climate that made them want to move to a hot, dry, desert with no potential for crop growing and limited potential for human life, cause it couldn't be that they were forced to move from place to place to the one place they could find peace after being raided, killed , enslaved, and pushed from their lands by more powerful groups.
I suppose I should just get on with blaming all my personal problems and the numerous problems of my community and ethnic group on Japan because of the actions of long since dead individuals at Pearl Harbour, or the Ottoman empire for their enslavement of millions of Europeans over the course of hundreds of years, or maybe Italy should be held to account for everything that happened during the days of the Roman empire...... I'll never, ever eat pizza again because of it's colonial origins.

Nobody could ever say that the native people of North America were ever treated fairly, but the only thing that differs is that the wounds are more fresh, and picking at wounds just keeps them open and doesn't allow healing to occur. The approach Miss Friesen is taking/virtue signalling from doesn't solve problems, it just creates them...... but she must be a really good person, she wears an orange shirt, and that's obviously the answer to all of this mess, along with blaming and dividing and assigning traditional roles of victim and oppressor.

Up 43 Down 13

Interested Observer on Jan 27, 2023 at 11:22 am

Well, Michelle has grabbed onto the lightning rod, so to speak. Knowingly, I might add.
She is clearly signalling she intends to run territorially again.

I’m very encouraged by the rational, intelligent positions put forward in this string. BUT, those positions have no place in Yukon politics, as we continue to lament about in the comment boards and coffee shops. We get the governments we support and vote for, and deserve.

Jim - you ever think that she watches her colleague, Ted, dominate news cycles for months and tries to squeeze out some ink and airwaves, albeit with a more naive approach to virtue signalling? Don’t worry, Ted stood up for the Jews recently with a long winded statement about anti-semitism that wasn’t really covered - so he’s just as guilty of virtue signalling as well. Tsk tsk

Future Fracture - 100% - very well written.
Hug a subscriber - another commenter who is absolutely dialed in.

There’s a lot of smart, kind, rational and fully capable people here. But they’re getting slaughtered at the polls, mostly because they can’t be bothered to vote and are disillusioned with all the parties and candidates.

Up 76 Down 13

Lumburgh on Jan 27, 2023 at 11:05 am

Curious. What is the minimum number of ‘pieces of flair’ required to classify as being ‘woke’?
Laptop stickers, sunflowers, beaded earring, edgy t-shirt slogan, trendy sleeve tattoo, purple hair.

We need COW to find efficiencies in spending our tax dollars and maybe even lower taxes (gasp) for once. People are suffering while politicians wave the ‘flag of the month’. WE DON’T CARE! Plow the streets, pickup the garbage. In the spring film the potholes and paint the lines on the road.

Up 73 Down 13

What did you expect? on Jan 27, 2023 at 7:54 am

When you vote in clowns, you get a circus. And “lawmaker”….FFS

Up 64 Down 13

Dave on Jan 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

The more harping I hear about racism and colonialism by sheltered, privileged people such as the councillor who has probably never missed a meal in her life or experienced any true hardship the more I tune it all out as recently increasing background noise.
My sympathies are with the Ukrainians who are requesting large amounts of adult diapers to be donated as the Russian animal soldiers have been brutalizing the women so badly they need diapers. That is real oppression and people who are truly suffering, not the sheltered people of all races who find themselves fortunate enough to live in the Yukon and Canada.

Up 53 Down 12

Matthew on Jan 27, 2023 at 5:42 am

Email Michelle at City council. Tell her off! Don't excpect a response though.. lol!

Up 43 Down 11

drum on Jan 26, 2023 at 7:02 pm

We all sufferd by stronger groups - look at European History. They were not lucky to have a Liberal Government just gives and gives Taxpayers money to the Bands.

Up 56 Down 11

Adam on Jan 26, 2023 at 6:11 pm

99% of these are fantastic points I could make a few more. But what’s the point like to add. What kind of a elected official shows up to city council meeting in a T-shirt not professional she needs to step down clearly.

Up 48 Down 11

drum on Jan 26, 2023 at 5:58 pm

We have all been colonized by stronger tribes over the centuries. Get over it - a new government might not give you all the money you want. Look at Europe they have been taken over and over - they moved on and survived. The strong always survive and do not whine.

Up 19 Down 70

Nathan Living on Jan 26, 2023 at 5:54 pm

I appreciate the Whitehorse Star allowing everyone/s perspective but little is gained from the venom that is many comments.
Please respectfully cap the number of responses to this news article, I think it's time to move on.

Up 133 Down 19

drum on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Get a life. You cannot blame the white people forever for everything. Take responsibily and stop asking for handouts (money). The taxpayers cannot pay for ever,

Up 128 Down 14

Wes on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:18 pm

It would have been nice if she’d shown this side of herself and her agenda when she was running for office. Might have turned out differently election wise.

Up 105 Down 10

Oya on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:18 pm

What is she asking for exactly?

Up 85 Down 12

Snap on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:08 pm

Perhaps once Michelle is finished virtue signalling she could investigate how the city recently dismissed the manager of land and building services after 20 years? How does this COW dismiss 20 years of corporate knowledge just like that. This dept is pretty important and I know this person did a lot to keep the wheels moving in an otherwise inefficient institution.

Up 98 Down 17

Vlad on Jan 26, 2023 at 3:15 pm

Is Ms. Friesen an indigenous person? Is she 100%, 50%, 25%, 1%or 0%. She does not look like one. I am 0%, but I would definitely pass for an Indian rather than her. I think it is an advantage in our racist colonial society to be one.
PS. I never read anything more idiotic ever.

Up 47 Down 12

Heathen on Jan 26, 2023 at 1:51 pm

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” - H.L. Mencken

Emphasis on most, or allow that imaginary can also include the distorted but there is no doubt this a profitable approach for some at the expense of many. It certainly has very little to do with arranging of municipal services but somehow I get the impression she isn't very concerned with such trivialities. Another personage of great vision and elevated spirituality no doubt. Quite thankful for these enlightened types that they bless us commoners with their guidance!

Up 72 Down 14

Hug a subscriber on Jan 26, 2023 at 11:55 am

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that electing one of the architects (and biggest profiteers) of the residential school cash settlements as mayor would bring this agenda to the municipal government level. She campaigned on it. What did you expect? With Cabot’s 13% mandate, she amply demonstrates how, in Canadian democracies, the minority is used steamroll the majority. What would be refreshing is to see the will of the 87% of the electorate who could not bring itself to vote for this agenda reflected in actual coverage, not merely reader comments. This almost complete disconnect has brought the media closer to irrelevant than it has probably ever been.

Up 61 Down 10

Jeff Bikaboom on Jan 26, 2023 at 11:45 am

"If we truly want to work towards reconciliation and equality, that solidarity needs to be continuous and ongoing every day and in every decision that we make"
Or maybe there is a time and a place for people to be reminded of their trauma. Is bringing it up continuously help to heal, or does it reinforce victim mentality?

Victimization rewards people for identifying as damaged and weak. It creates a perspective of negativity where bad thing specifically happen to you, beyond your control. If it is beyond your control, then you have no power to take action, which removes initiative to improve a situation.

Is talking about this continuously everyday going to improve the situation? I think specifically identifying the perpetrators is a good start so everyone can see how past and present crimes were committed, and by who.

Up 72 Down 12

Groucho d'North on Jan 26, 2023 at 8:31 am

Judging by the image in this story Ms. Friesen is a walking billboard for political issues important to her. Racism is just another topic float in her the parade of concerns. Racism is a two-edged sword but half of the participants fail to see it.

Up 84 Down 11

Narcissism on Jan 26, 2023 at 8:15 am

There are two types of narcissists - the first, and most wildly known is the condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their importance, the second, and this agreed upon across the social science profession is a state in which people perpetually believe they are "victims".

Facts are, human beings can and have the propensity to be cruel. All people, at one point in their lives have dealt with hardship in their past (spanish inquisition, Irish catholics, Women in the 1600s, African Americans, North Korea, Vietnam, victims of communism past and present )(China, and all the former Eastern Bloc countries), etc., etc., etc.
Homo Sapiens throughout human history have colonized land, and slaughtered each other, like all other animals, for resources, including indigenous people.

If you live and breath in Canada today, you are privileged. There is vast opportunity for education, growth, and general well being if your willing to step up and take charge of your own life. In fact, the pendulum is dangerously swinging much to the far the other way, where as a society we are now moving towards equality of outcome.

What dictates one's future success is to reflect on the past, not dwell on the past, being accountable for yourself, and quit pointing fingers.

Someone please give Michelle a Mirror!!

Up 91 Down 11

Where.do..we...start....here? on Jan 26, 2023 at 7:45 am

Hey I have an idea!

All the white people, just leave the Yukon, leave the first nation land to the first nation people!
It might be a bit hard with no tax payer to get the system running but... give the land back and all issues are solved!!!!

Oh but wait a minute... who really are the first people of the Yukon land???
Quote from Beringia-dot-com: "The first people in Yukon migrated from Asia near the end of the Ice Age. Although considerable debate still occurs amongst scientists about when the first people arrived in North America, current scientific conscensus places their arrival around 15,000 years ago."

Or quote cyfn-dot-ca: "The Tlingit people and language originate from Southeast Alaska and they made their way into the Yukon at least 300 years ago to trade with the people of the Interior, the Athabaskans. Many of our people in the Southern areas have both Athabaskan and Tlingit ancestry."
Whaaaaaaat first nation people are imigrants too?

That's all a big joke! I really feel for what happened to first nation people in Canada. I also really feel for what happened to every single population that went through war, genocide, etc = every single population on this earth!!!

Giving loaaaaaads of money to FN people are not fixing any issues but rather reinforcing them and increasing racism, on BOTH ends...

Up 57 Down 12

Future Fracture on Jan 26, 2023 at 7:09 am

So let’s go ahead and assume everything the good councillor claims as true is true and move our eyes towards the future for a second.

How does this all end? Well, we can already see a pathway forming. The first stage is the slowing or stopping of most shared effort to build or improve the society in favour of clamouring for ever more entitlements. The second stage is segregation. Yes, the term being used is sovereignty, but the outcome is segregation. Separate justice system, separate school system, separate economy, separated further into hundreds of tiny nations. Then Francophone Quebec starts to make noise about their grievances and sovereignty. Now Alberta and Saskatchewan are joining the chorus. How many petty fiefdoms will confederation fracture into? In all that chaos, will the next generation be better off or worse off?

As a lifelong student of history, I feel compelled to share the way it always begins to fall apart: segregation. If we aren’t all in it together, we are destined to squabble. The real harm of segregation is the ignorance and apathy towards each other’s struggles that results. That’s why it was so effective as a tool to both propagate division and control of the colonies of sub-Saharan Africa and the Jim Crowe South of America.

The themes of recent memory being pushed by First Nations leadership is exactly the kind of rhetoric that enables fracturing: ‘The other is a violent barbaric threat to our way of life.’ ‘We can’t possibly be expected to cohabitate.’ ‘We must fight for the sake of our children.’ Sentiments used to rouse grievance, revolution and, in some cases, ethnic based violence throughout history. The one quote in the article above that I think demonstrates a manipulative narrative moving us further towards segregation is about bringing reconciliation into every aspect of life. When we eventually fail to meet this undefined and unmeasurable expectation in some way no matter how hard we try, it will only justify moving further apart.

History does not determine the future, but we ignore its lessons at our peril. If we are headed towards violence and strife, the next stage will be the dehumanization of each other. Once segregation lays the groundwork, building nations of hatred is never far off.

It is, in my opinion, reckless of any person in a position of power to continue to use grievance as a political impetus. We are already past the point of a halting of cooperative building and improving of our shared society and have entered the segregation phase.

My recommendation to avoid the chaos rushing to meet us is a bit radical: reform Canada into a republic governed by and for the people. Send the divisive and dramatic Crown back to where it came from. Start a new chapter in our history. Give people hope for a better future. Give ourselves a parliament voted in by representation, not legacy systems of multi-generational elitist control from one part of the country. Create a whole new dynamic for First Nations people where they are included from the very first. Solidify ourselves as a truly self-governing nation that elects the work horses rather than show horses. A nation that fixes the broken things competently or, at the very least, retires those that can’t to make way for those who can. A nation that provides a limited basic safety net for all balanced by a ton of economic opportunity for all. A nation of working smarter and harder. A nation with a future.

When it comes to a big picture historical perspective on societies, to build is to exist and to subsist is to suffer.

Up 59 Down 13

Josey Wales on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:54 am

Gee...gotta love the alleged oppressed class, covered in tattoos as they are pricey for that square footage...and looks like a meal never missed.
But...but..but the oppression?
Me me meeeeeeeeee!
Should be cultural appropriate, this “job”, as it also is unaccountable and rewarded for no results.

I think there needs to be more albino Chiefs, how about it folks?
We should be able to vote for their political blowholes, just like the colonial racists were lobbied for by her brethren.
Make sure she does not accept any holiday cash from any other day less solstice, or she may be even a bigger hypocrite and more entitled than traditionally.
Love the fashion tips by Kate, very classy and reeks of striving for perfection 😂🤣🤢🤮

Took PM Blackfaces playbook from the last love in reads like.
...and many know how big of a fool it is, lisping scolds at us for things government did in bed with the church.

Also too...wonder how many hundreds of acres of graves were full prematurely filled via savages (since THEE mud is thrown FROM city hall..) and their political blowholes that believe well in bigotry of lower expectations.
As we see, read, bleed daily!

Up 31 Down 115

Jacklyn Stockstill on Jan 26, 2023 at 4:43 am

Wow this comment section definitely proves Michelle’s point doesn’t it! Look at all these rude, insensitive and uneducated comments. Generational trauma is real and the effects are long lasting. It seems hate has also been passed down and continues to show it’s ugly face.

Up 68 Down 9

Max Mack on Jan 26, 2023 at 1:07 am

"Friesen noted that in the spring of 2021, the bodies of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves elsewhere in the country . . ."

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) cannot be used to prove the presence of human remains or graves. At best, GPR can be used to identify potential targets for further examination (e.g. exhumation, excavation).

Up 67 Down 11

UN on Jan 25, 2023 at 9:59 pm

I appreciate your ability to bring this up. Still, please understand that your comments are hypocritical as you are part of a colonial system that, in fact, colonial system elected you into your position. Please remember you REPRESENT all members of the City of Whitehorse, including those who have not voted for you, may be of a different ethnicity than you or colour.

Second, you perpetuate fallacy. The bodies of 215 children were not discovered but voids that could possibly be graves. Anyone who has used GPR knows it is not a complete depth profile, and those voids may be a tree root or other objects. Furthering misinformation, create more divisiveness and does not illustrate astuteness in what you are explaining and can be deemed as propaganda. However, these voids need to be examined, and if there are bones there, the bodies need to be exhumed, and the proper form of restitution to these families needs to be made as well a those who passed.

Third, do not force us whose views do not align with yours to assimilate. I am my own unique person; I have my own trauma which prevents me from being popular, and regardless of colour, trauma is trauma, and it is mine and mine alone.

Up 59 Down 11

North_of_60 on Jan 25, 2023 at 9:55 pm

About that "2021, the bodies of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves " allegation. The fact remains that no evidence of any human remains has ever been found.
‘Biggest fake news story in Canada’: Kamloops mass grave debunked by academics
However there's lots of funding to look for evidence, though two years later, none has ever been found.
Basing one's argument on provable falsehood erodes any credibility of the rest of it.

Up 65 Down 10

John on Jan 25, 2023 at 9:02 pm

Sorry Michelle, you lost me with the misleading statistics you cited. It is difficult to hold onto anything you say when you deliberately fail on the truth.

As I mentioned last week, reconciliation cuts a path both ways. The unfortunate thing about the T&RC was that the report is all one sided. Especially the action points. As others have said - continue to live in the past and you will forever be stuck there. Every person on this planet will have somewhere in their ancestry crimes committed against them - some of them more horrific than what your ancestors suffered. Most peoples learn to pick themselves up and move forward. The past we learn from (at least some of us do). We cannot change what occurred and nor should we be brazen enough to want to erase it. We work towards the future. At the rate some within your community are going (especially the leadership) it will be many, many decades (if at all) before you cut the leash and free yourselves of the self bondage.

Colonialism - yes you are still experiencing. Why, because the indigenous population, for the most part, have not taken the opportunity to break the shackles of the federal government from your way of life. Cradle to grave you "rely and demand" that someone else look after your needs - yet there is no thanks - just more demands, and that is where you lose the respect of a lot of non-indigenous folks. Reflect on that...

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Tu Shi on Jan 25, 2023 at 8:23 pm

Friesen said every single Indigenous person you know feels the effects of residential schools.

Friesen does not speak for me. I attended the Choutla residential school in the early 1960s and am happy to say I feel no ill effects from my time spent there. Further, it did not affect me or my immediate family.

Sad to see Friesen parroting the popular narrative and trying to rewrite history. In my opinion, until First Nation communities start looking at the real cause of their many woes they will never be able to advance to their full potential. Stop the blame game. Do some actual research on the history of residential schools.


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Jim on Jan 25, 2023 at 8:13 pm

I’ve read this article several times and cannot find the “lawmaker” anywhere in it. Does Michelle believe her position as city councillor has anything to do with making laws pertaining to child welfare? I find it so humorous that when Ted Laking questions traffic and power concerns everyone jumps on the bandwagon that it’s all for his political gain. Then I read this political piece on colonialism and racism. This is the City of Whitehorse and municipal responsibilities that you are supposed to be working for. Remember that you represent the people of Whitehorse. Many of these people who your pointing fingers at are what make up the citizens of Whitehorse. Maybe it’s your plan to use the media to gain an audience on for a higher political goal and this is your stepping stone. Well played on convincing your voters that you had Whitehorse citizens best interests in mind.

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bonanzajoe on Jan 25, 2023 at 7:27 pm

The indigenous people came to this continent first. The white race came next. How come the indigenous people didn't look after the white people Why was it the other way? So, wouldn't it be fair if the one who got the looking after, provide the reconciliation out of a grateful heart? That's the definition of "reconciliation" to me. Good questions. How about some answers.

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bonanzajoe on Jan 25, 2023 at 7:21 pm

You know Michelle, it's time to move on and build a future for you're people.
But, you can't build a future on the mistakes of the past. But, they're gonna milk the white cow for ever. And with all the cheques MPs like to cut them, they ain't about to kill the golden goose. Oh and by the way, why are so many indigenous children in foster care? What race of people volunteer for foster parenting? And how many indigenous people volunteer for foster parenting? Would you like to comment on that.

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Nathan Living on Jan 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm

I really appreciate the information provided by Councillor Michelle Friesen.
And I think she and a few other Councillors should brief the Inclusivity Advisory Committee on their take of problems associated with the negative effects of Indian residential schools.

This is all good but I have to say that I and many people I know have suffered discrimination at the hands of the new Mayor and Coun
At the end of the day, Council works on behalf of all Whitehorse residents but this clearly is not the case! There is a very clear situation where Councillors receive compensation for their services and they pander to a few groups because they represent a large number of residents. And they and City staff advocate for these groups even when not asked to do so.

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drum on Jan 25, 2023 at 6:47 pm

All immigrants come from terrible backgrounds - they all were conquered by a bigger group in the past We all adjusted and got over it - we had to. But with this government in Canada at present we the taxpayers just keep giving and giving.

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Jeff Bikaboom on Jan 25, 2023 at 6:34 pm

There are good books by Darren Grimes and Kevin Daniel Annett about the genocide of indigenous people by the Canadian government. They document how recently in history these crimes occurred. Disturbing stuff, yet in recent years many people act as though the government is incapable of such awful things.

"Because of this continued colonialism, racism and discrimination".
By who? Let's be a little more specific. There should be consequences and repercussions these perpetrators.

When complaining about colonialism and racism it is worth noting the reparations that have been received and continue to be received. Off the top of my head: billions of dollars, multi million dollar cultural centers, housing programs, education programs, and social programs.

"Friesen said wearing an orange shirt, and giving a land acknowledgement, are signals that people collectively recognize the impact of colonization and cultural genocide."
Will orange shirts and talking about this topic incessantly bring solidarity, or will it re-traumatize?
Re-traumatization makes the subconscious believe the trauma is occurring again (the subconscious mind has no sense of time). If people are continuously traumatized, the subconscious mind will be re-traumatized and the initial trauma will be buried beneath each re-traumatization.

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Crunch on Jan 25, 2023 at 6:15 pm

Jumping on the colonial gravy train . It’s likely not her doing. PJ pulls all the strings in this department. He has to get as much out as possible before JT kicks the can and the tap gets turned off.

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Charlie's Aunt on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:51 pm

Am I missing something, yet again? What does this speech have to do with a COW council meeting? “More than 50 per cent of all children in foster care are Indigenous despite the fact that they make up less than eight per cent of the population in Canada." Hello, maybe there is a reason for those numbers.

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bonanzajoe on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:43 pm

I fully support this statement we need to support yukon indigenous efforts 👌 they sacrificed a lot for our Yukon.

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Matthew on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Hey @Jeff, she can't give any examples. Believe me, I've asked! I encourage the Star to publish our emails sent to each other. Silence all around.. this puff piece has only come out because of the emails I've sent. First started in regards to CopperRidge land development.

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What a waste of oxygen. on Jan 25, 2023 at 4:04 pm

How about you just stay in your lane and do the job you were elected to do Michelle.

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Racism continues? on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Wow, just stop.

You were the first Indigenous woman elected to Whitehorse city council and yet you still harp on about colonialism? Seriously?
It obviously had no effect on you. Please stop looking to the past, and focus on the future.
If people of every race and heritage currently living in the Yukon (yeah, I mean immigrants) were to bring up the atrocities that happened to them in their past we would be here forever discussing what should be done to please every single group. But guess what, they don't, they move on and make the best possible lives for themselves.

Oh, This is a no brainer:
"More than 50 per cent of all children in foster care are Indigenous despite the fact that they make up less than eight per cent of the population in Canada."
Let's not bring up any personal responsibility at all because it is always easier to blame someone else for your own problems.

And yeah, racism continues. Just look at all the special concession First Nations are given. From separate sentencing guide lines, Bid value reductions (BVR), Indigenous Housing Fund, Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, etc. etc. So yes Michelle, the racism or favoritism based on heritage continues.

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Matthew on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:33 pm

“We are still separating Indigenous families,” she told council.
“More than 50 per cent of all children in foster care are Indigenous despite the fact that they make up less than eight per cent of the population in Canada

Look no farther than the communities themselves.. Gotta start looking in the mirror, can't blame the white man forever..

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Mr Facts on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:32 pm

The optics people have today amazes me. The whole "reconciliation" movement of today literally paints all Caucasian people as the devil reincarnated. 99% of people today had absolutely no hand in residential schools. But here we are. So is this not a form of discrimination? Oh right, that dosen't fit your viewpoint? I'm so tired of this nonsense. And you should be ashamed that you push an agenda that further divides us all. We are all Canadians. Stop dividing us by race.

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Matthew on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Oh my, answer my email then Michelle, I've proven you wrong. Claim you want to talk about it, but you don't. If someone disagrees with your narrative you're silent. Ground penetrating radar can NOT find 430 different femers (215 kids) in a mass grave. Blaming all white people forever prevents YOU from ever moving forward...

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Jeff on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Just what exactly do you mean with your bold statements? Please give some examples

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Juniper Jackson on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:08 pm

How much money does she want?

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Mr T on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Cut the jibberjabber and plow my street

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Paul Revear on Jan 25, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Yup racism is alive and well….except it’s described like this…this posting is only for Yukon First Nations and benificiarys of Yukon First Nations…..sorry but I couldn’t help it, I lived in Rez school and it’s not just the system that was abusive…I am white.

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Rick S on Jan 25, 2023 at 2:41 pm

"Friesen noted that in the spring of 2021, the bodies of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves elsewhere in the country."
Actually, not a single body has been exhumed from that alleged mass grave.

"People need to ensure that their actions and initiatives toward reconciliation are not just performative."

"Friesen said wearing an orange shirt."
You can't make this stuff up!

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BnR on Jan 25, 2023 at 1:50 pm

Working hard on the housing issue just as she said she would…….

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