Deserae Yellow Horn of the Piikani First Nation says she has been personally subjected to racial slurs since she was in elementary school and it’s something Indigenous people face on a regular basis. (Kate Adach/CBC) Indigenous Albertans say they were disappointed but not surprised when they heard about an Alberta Health Services employee who referred to a Kainai Board of Education principal using a racial slur.
"It was very disappointing, especially considering it was a [provincial] employee," said Deserae Yellow Horn of the Piikani First Nation.
"This really just continues to strain that relationship between the First Nations and the Alberta Government, to know there is this level of ignorance still there."
Michelle Robinson, who comes from a Slavey Dene background, was saddened by the news but said it was consistent with what she and her friends have experienced directly — both in society at large and within Alberta’s health-care system, in particular.
"I wasn’t that surprised, to be frank, because a lot of racist terms are thrown around on a regular basis, still," she said.
"One of the terms that was being used against this woman, that’s still being said to a lot of women."
The word in question was "squaw," according to Ramona Big Head, the principal of Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School in Stand Off, Alta., who was the target of the slur. The series of text messages sent by an Alberta Health Services employee used a racial slur to refer to Ramona Big Head, the principal of Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School. (Ramona Big Head) The text message described how someone had been "yelled at" by Big Head during a training event on the Kainai First Nation, also known as the Blood Tribe First Nation, located about 200 kilometres south of Calgary.
The message appeared intended for another AHS employee but was mistakenly directed to someone […]
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