Open Letter to Senator Beyak

On behalf of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 I would like to express my profound disappointment with your recent comments, again, and the lack of judgement you exercised in making those comments. As a Senator who has resided within the Treaty #3 territory, I am gravely concerned about your lack of understanding. You continue to speak about something you clearly know nothing about.

As a Senator you have many privileges; you occupy a seat in Canada’s bicameral parliamentary democracy and have a unique opportunity to give voice to underrepresented groups, including the citizens of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3. Your position as Senator provides you a platform to express your views to Canadians. It is imperative those views are not only accurate, but factually and credibly based, to which your comments are not.

We are in a time when governments and Canadians are focused on the efforts of reconciliation and learning about Indigenous history, knowledge and experience. We have done much work in this regard within Treaty #3 territory. I find your refusal to reflect on your own biases not only distracting to the progress made, but damaging to the truth, respect, and the well-documented historical experience of Indigenous citizens.

Despite an opportunity to dispel myths on racism and colonialism, you continue to make public statements that perpetuate this ignorance. This is very dangerous. On behalf of the leadership of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3, we will continue to monitor your work and will make concentrated efforts to ensure that you do no further harm to our citizens through the perpetuation of ignorance and racism towards Indigenous people.

I hope you can reflect upon your comments and take responsibility for the harms you have inflicted. I ask for your resignation, or alternatively, call upon your immediate removal.