Stop Racist Practices at Cardston Value Drug Mart & Implement the TRC's Calls to Action

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Indigenous people share the same basic human rights as Non-Indigenous Canadians. 

As members of the Blood Tribe/Kainai Nation,we the undersigned do request that the Cardston Value Drug Mart discontinue its systematic racist practices against all Indigenous patrons and implement the Truth and Reconciliations Call to Action, Business and Reconciliation, number 92, section iii.  We look to our members, leaders and allies to show your support for this cause.

 

The well-known practices of racial discrimination experienced at this location include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Falsely accusing Indigenous patrons of stealing,

·         Falsely detaining Indigenous patrons; whether accused of stealing, or for recording an interaction with staff outside of the store on the public Main Street,

·         Following Indigenous patrons while shopping or awaiting a prescription,

·         Singling out Indigenous patrons to pay for prescriptions prior to release from Pharmacist,

·         Stereotyping Indigenous peoples as addicts or alcoholics,

·         Embarrassing Indigenous patrons over prescriptions by Pharmacist’s lack of discretion.

 

Many of these incidents have been experienced first hand or have been reported by family members, including elders, on a regular basis.

 

The effects of racial discrimination have far reaching consequences to Indigenous people who have yet to recover from the all-encompassing negative impacts of colonialism. 

 

“The casual pathways driving racism and its negative effects are complex, intertwined and deeply embedded in diverse systems, including economic, political and psychosocial.  This includes limited healthy food choices, inadequate living conditions and substandard health care.”  http://www.cfpc.ca/uploadedFiles/Resources/_PDFs/SystemicRacism_ENG.pdf

As Niitsitapi, we have been here since time immemorial.  The Blackfoot Confederacy once extended far beyond its borders today which include Kainai-Blood, Piikani-Northern Piegan, Siiksika-Blackfoot, and Amskapi Pikuni-Blackfeet.  Today the Blackfoot Confederacy extends from the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana, USA to the Blood Tribe and Northern Peigan Tribe, here in Southern Alberta and to the Siksika Nation, near Calgary.  As such, the Town of Cardston and the Cardston Value Drug Mart is located in the midst of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

 

Since the onset of Colonialism, we have experienced the systematic deconstruction of our culture, language and our entire way of life.  The Blood Tribe has suffered first hand many of the negative impacts which today include the current opioid crisis, murdered and missing indigenous women, youth suicides, inadequate living conditions, lack of equal employment opportunities and the list goes on.  While we continue to make strides in providing services to our people, to assist them overcoming these overwhelming obstacles in their lives, racism is the one issue we cannot overcome on our own. 

 

“In Canada, anti-discrimination legislation exists to protect and advocate for the human rights of Indigenous peoples.  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act – including the repeal of section 67 – are dedicated to maintaining every individual’s rights under the law.”  https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/rights-indigenous-peoples.html

 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued it’s report in December of 2015 and outlines its recommendation to Business Reconciliation in Call to Action number 92, in particular, section iii, which states:

 

“Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples (Indigenous Peoples), including history legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations.  This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.”

 

http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

Ending racism requires an education and understanding and the support of those willing to stand for change.  Our rights as Indigenous peoples cannot be overlooked as we try to find a path towards reconciliation and ending racism at every level of government, service or business.   

 

Join us in asking Cardston Value Drug Mart to acknowledge our Indigenous rights to fair and humane treatment today and for future generations. 



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