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Letter: McDougall Church land should return to the Stoney people

Editor: I wish to add my comments to the discussion regarding the McDougall Church. I was the judge primarily responsible for the administration of justice on the Stoney Indian Reserve at Morley for nearly 20 years.

Editor:

I wish to add my comments to the discussion regarding the McDougall Church.

I was the judge primarily responsible for the administration of justice on the Stoney Indian Reserve at Morley for nearly 20 years.

I made it my life's work to understand why there was such a disproportionate number of Stoney people appearing in my court. 

The conclusion I reached was that the violence in the community is the result of damage done to their social structure by Canadian imperialist colonization.

Tina Fox, in her gentle Indigenous way, tells of her own hurt without attacking those that caused the pain. The truth is that the matrons that washed her in kerosene, and took away the clothes that her mother had made for her, were white supremacist oppressors. 

The commandant of the white supremacist oppressors was the Reverend George McDougall.

With a not-very-sincere apology to Brenda McQueen, I say that she should acknowledge that her great, great, great grandfather was a white supremacist racist and that building a monument to white supremacist racism is not an act of reconciliation.

That church was an integral part of the colonialism that has caused the social dysfunction from which many are still suffering. 

I suggest it would be far better to return the land to the Stoney people and give them the money they have raised to build a healing lodge.

John Reilly, retired provincial court judge

Canmore