by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – Edmonton Rutherford MLA Richard Feehan, Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, President of the 60’s scoop Indigenous society of Alberta Adam North Peigan, Lloyd Cardinal representing end poverty Edmonton, and others are calling for the termination of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s speechwriter, Paul Bunner.
In a statement, Treaty Eight chiefs write “Chiefs of the Sovereign Treaty Nations are amazed at the level of disrespect brandished by Premier Kenney who continues to employ an individual who has published anti-First Nation views that are harmful, divisive, dehumanizing and racist to say the least.”
Paul Bunner wrote and published a 2013 article title “The ‘Genocide’ That Failed” in which he argues that residential school survivors fabricated a “bogus genocide story” for their own financial gain.
“This article in its entirety is unconscionable. How can Premier Kenney know about this article and overlook the harm it continues to cause? The same way this government and its continued actions purposely ostracize the First Nation’s people! Premier Kenney’s acceptance of these articles demonstrates nothing but racism,” the chiefs write.
“The Chiefs of the Sovereign Treaty Nations call upon Premier Kenney to remove Mr. Bunner from his role as speechwriter and ensure that he is no longer associated with the government of Alberta moving forward.”
Chiefs of Treaty Six, the Blackfoot Confederacy, and the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Alberta have all called on Kenney to fire Bunner.
Bunner has an extensive history of writing and publishing deeply racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic articles from the early 1990s to as recently as 2016.
“It’s disgusting that Premier Kenney has defended his racist speechwriter,” said Richard Feehan, NDP Opposition Critic for Indigenous Relations.
“Bunner has spread hatred and racism towards Indigenous people and many others through his hateful writing. Kenney has known about this for more than a week. He must listen to the voices of Indigenous leaders in Alberta and fire his racist speechwriter immediately.”
When asked if the partnership between the provincial government and First Nations was at risk because of Bunner, Chief Noskey said, “I don’t think there is a partnership in place.”
Jake Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.