Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s video continues to spark backlash

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s comments characterizing the relationship with Indigenous people and settlers as united – continues to draw backlash.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s comments characterizing the relationship between Indigenous people and settlers continue to draw backlash.

Smith said in the video Indigenous people and “people around the world” united to found Canada.

“Many years ago, the Indigenous people of this land, and those that came from across the world, united to tame an unforgiving frontier, ensuring prosperity for countless future generations,” Smith said.

Michelle Robinson, the host of the Native Calgarian Podcast and Indigenous advocate, says it’s concerning that Alberta’s premier has a lack of understanding when it comes to Canada’s history involving Indigenous people.

“She needs more cultural competency, and I think we’ve seen from all the different departments they all do,” she said.

“And it’s really unfortunate because while it’s fun for progressives to laugh and mock it, these are our lives. And I’m living in a province where my premier does not understand the basics of reconciliation or the violence of Indigenous people.”

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On Saturday, Smith was asked to apologize publicly on her radio show.

“Our province has been a pioneer in its relationship with First Nations,” Smith said. “There has been a long history of us not living up to the commitments in those Treaties, and we are making reparations for the errors that we made.”

However, Robinson says the words are not real acts of unity with Indigenous communities.

“Our premier perpetuates it with ignorance with conservative talking points instead of meaningful reconciliation,” she said.

Alberta’s NDP party leader Rachel Notley echoed the call for an apology saying in a statement, “Only then, by acknowledging this horrible mistake or attempt at outright erasure of history, can we begin to walk a path to reconciliation in which Indigenous people can prosper.”

Robinson says Smith’s language alone makes it apparent she’s in need of more education.

“When the premiere only says ‘First Nations,’ then she is excluding the metis and the Inuit, and she is excluding the non-treaty partners that are indigenous in the province like myself,” she said.

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