Fort Chipewyan Métis Association

Fort Chip Metis Response to Ward 1 Councillor Shafiq M. Dogar’s Inflammatory Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Fort Chip Métis Local #125 Joins Growing Call for Ward 1 Councillor Shafiq M. Dogar’s Resignation

 Fort Chipewyan, Alberta (February 04, 2022) On Thursday’s Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) most recent public budget meeting, Councillor Shafiq Dogar made factually untrue and divisive characterizations of rural Indigenous people. Councillor Dogar made his remarks as he expressed disapproval of Councillor Cardinal’s call to fund prevention initiatives for Murdered, Missing, and Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited (MMIWG2S).

Since then, thousands of voices from the RMWB of all backgrounds have come together to reject the language of stereotyping. Comments that are discriminatory in nature have no place within RMWB or our communities. As leaders, we also need to ensure we work together, in collaboration with RCMP, RMWB, the Province, First Nations and Metis to address the challenges that exist in our communities.

Fort Chip Metis Local #125 (FCM) joins in an unequivocal call for the following action from the RMWB:

  • for Councillor Dogar to immediately resign from the RMWB;
  • for the Mayor and Council to issue formal apologies, in writing and during a public Council meeting, to the Indigenous people of RMWB;
  • for the video of Thursday’s budget meeting to be released immediately
  • for the RMWB leadership to undergo meaningful cultural awareness training

Non-Indigenous Canadians must reflect on commonly held stereotypes and confront racism wherever it is found. For Indigenous Peoples, we must use the truth to rebuild our lives, our families, our communities and Canada itself to be equitable for all. We must use this incident as a lesson—a case study to help us transform and rebuild in real partnership with Indigenous Peoples with real investment by all levels of government.

“Councillor Dogar’s comments represent the resistance of some to support our most vulnerable community members. I encourage people to become aware and involved in finding ways to support our women, girls, and 2 spirited people. The National Inquiry into MMIWG2S confirmed something many of us already knew to be true—that our most vulnerable face great danger. It is our job to reach out and help protect them.”

– Kendrick Cardinal, Fort Chip Metis President

To learn more about MMIWG2S, visit https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/.

To learn more about the Fort Chip Métis board, visit www.fortchipmetis.ca.

About Fort Chip Metis

Fort Chip Métis Local #125 (“Fort Chip Métis”) is located in the oldest consecutively inhabited settlement in Alberta. It was established to preserve and promote Métis Culture, and provides services for the Métis people of Fort Chipewyan.

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Fort Chipewyan Métis Local #125 Media Inquiries

Tammy Riel

tammy.riel@fortchipmetis.ca