UPDATE: A quote from the City of Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman has been added.
The City of Fort St. John, the District of Taylor, and the Peace River Regional District have released statements denouncing a social media post from the Village of Pouce Coupe Mayor, Lorraine Michetti.
On Friday, a post published on Michetti’s Facebook page circulated social media around the Peace Region. The post was made on Wednesday.
The post’s caption read, “Don’t want pipeline’s? They want to protect our land. Yeah ok”. Pictures of garbage surrounding homes followed this.
In several Facebook groups based in different Peace areas, the sentiment from residents is similar, labelling the comment’s as “racist” and “hateful” towards First Nations of the Peace.
The City of Fort St. John released a statement from Mayor Lori Ackerman without naming Michetti or mentioning the post.
Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser says the comments made do not represent the views of the District of Taylor.
“First Nations people and their governments have been working towards protecting our environment and the lands of the Peace for many years, and they continue to do so today.
It is time for uninformed members of the general public to tone down their rhetoric and become more informed about topics which are spoken of,” states Fraser in the release.
The PRRD Chair Brad Sperling called the sentiment of Michetti’s post “deeply troubling”. Michetti is a member of the Peace River Regional District Board of Directors.
“This was posted to a personal Facebook account. The post does not in any way reflect the views of the Peace River Regional District, and we wholeheartedly reject the message contained in it.
Our anti-racism policy clearly and firmly commits the PRRD to conduct its business in an anti-discriminatory and anti-racist manner and environment. This policy applies to elected officials of the PRRD. This is a violation of that policy, and once again, we reject in the strongest terms the sentiment expressed in this post,” states Sperling.
Michetti told Energeticcity of a statement she released through Richard Mineault’s Facebook page.
In the statement, Michetti apologized to those offended by the post and said, ” it was directed to address an issue that was not of cultural nature”.
“Beginning now, I will be taking a proactive approach to address the cultural indifference that has been embedded into our communities by learning more about diverse cultural people in our area, and I will that by taking an awareness and learning program that is currently available by a First Nations member of our community,” says Michetti’s statement.
This story is developing and more information may be included once it comes out.