Posted on Aug 19, 2020
NDP SUPPORTS SIXTIES SCOOP SOCIETY’S CALL FOR KENNEY TO FIRE RACIST STAFF, APPOINTEE
EDMONTON – The Alberta NDP Caucus is joining the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta’s call for Jason Kenney to remove racist members of his staff and the curriculum review panel.
In a letter sent August 18, Adam North Peigan, President of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta, asks Jason Kenney to fire Paul Bunner and remove Chris Champion from the curriculum panel in order to properly rebuild trust and move forward with reconciliation. So far, Jason Kenney has refused repeated calls from Indigenous leaders to fire these senior advisors.
“What is it going to take Premier for you to listen to the First Peoples and make significant changes in how you govern our province? We cannot deny the atrocities of the Residential School or the Sixties Scoop survivors. To pretend it never happened is unjust,” writes North Peigan.
Paul Bunner, Kenney’s speechwriter, wrote and published a 2013 article titled “The ‘Genocide’ That Failed” in which he argues that residential school survivors fabricated a “bogus genocide story” for their own financial gain.
Chris Champion, Kenney’s handpicked social studies curriculum adviser, has a well-documented history of writing and publishing articles containing racist views towards Indigenous peoples. Champion has published articles doubting the veracity of residential school survivors and Indigenous elders.
Last year, he wrote an article titled “Alberta’s Little History War” calling the inclusion of First Nations perspectives in school lessons a “fad” and claiming the KAIROS blanket exercise “brainwashes children”.
“Mr. Champion appears to believe that there is no such thing as Indigenous history in Alberta, and he is intent on erasing it from our school curriculum,” said NDP Indigenous Relations Critic Richard Feehan. “Once again, I am calling on Premier Kenney to dismiss Paul Bunner and dismiss Chris Champion.”
North Peigan’s call follows the Grand Chiefs of Treaty 8, Chiefs of Treaty Six, the Blackfoot Confederacy, and the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Alberta who have all called for Bunner to be fired.