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  • Dave Weir

This Has A Name




I would like to acknowledge that I am here today on this beautiful afternoon on the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation.


A couple days ago was Red Dress Day, it’s a day of awareness, to acknowledge the violence our country has wreaked on missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people. It’s an important day.


But that day, I felt bad because my attention was diverted, I felt angry because my thoughts swirled around the recent scandal, comments made by two of our Yukon MLAs.


I want to speak today to Wade Istchenko and Stacey Hassard, and to their leader Currie Dixon. Especially, I want to speak to you Wade, because you are my MLA.


The thing is, the reason we need a Red Dress Day is because of the gender based violence, the kind of toxic culture, that your comments have reinforced.


I have read your apologies. And what is clear to me is it seems that you have no idea what you have done. Were your texts rude and immature? Yes, but that is so far from the issue here.


This has a name.


In fact it has several.


Sexism


Misogyny


Gender based bullying


Dehumanizing


Homophobia


Transphobia


Lateral Violence


This is hateful. Hateful.


I’m not going to pretend that I have never been guilty of any of these things. But growth starts by recognizing where we are at.


Our children don’t learn how to bully from each other, they learn it from us.

This behaviour that’s been exhibited, it feeds that monster, it teaches all the wrong things.


Wade, you and I have something in common.

We were born to privilege, and that comes with a responsibility.

It is our responsibility to recognize our privilege and to hold space for those who do not have the same privilege.


Holding that space is called STRENGTH.


You see, bullying withers and dies when we stand up to it.


As a community, we can do that.

We can call out the bullying when we see it.

We can remember that bystanders are as implicated as perpetrators.

We can stand up for each other, and step forward to the community we wish for our children.


Wade, Stacey, Currie, I invite you to join us on that journey, a journey we all have the opportunity to take.


Thank you.


Shä̀w níthän


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