Support Fort St John News

POUCE COUPE, B.C – The Treaty 8 Tribal Association is endorsing Peace region leaders’ request for Mayor Lorraine Michetti to resign after being accused of racism.

Treaty 8 leaders appeared by video conference at a Pouce Coupe council meeting Monday to address Michetti’s social media activity.

“There is no place for such racist, inappropriate and hateful comments in British Columbia,” says Marlene Greyeyes, executive director of Treaty 8 Tribal Association, during the meeting on March 1st.

“As the leaders of our respective communities, we feel the need to stand up against this anti-Indigenous racism and advocate for zero tolerance.

“For these reasons and the spirit of working together, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association stands together with other leaders of the Peace Region to unconditionally denounce Mayor Michetti’s actions and comments and demand her immediate resignation.”

On February 19th, a Facebook post of Michetti’s started circulating the Peace Region that read, “Don’t want pipeline’s? They want to protect our land. Yeah ok”. The caption was followed by pictures of garbage surrounding multiple homes.

A Facebook comment also began making the rounds, which has Michetti comparing herself to a Jewish person being sent to a concentration camp after the federal government banned specific guns.

Towards the end of the March 1st council meeting, Doig River First Nation Chief Trevor Makadahay states being disheartened that racism still lives.

“I understand from your post, the pictures that were on your post were from a community that is living in third world conditions with a boil water advisory; those pictures shouldn’t have been posted,” says Chief Makadahay.

Michetti apologized during the meeting and plans to take cultural sensitivity training, which Greyeyes called this “merely window dressing”.

“As the leaders of our respective communities, we feel the need to stand up against this anti-indigenous racism, an advocate for zero tolerance regarding such shocking and unacceptable behaviour,’ adds Greyeyes.

At the end of the meeting, Michetti told the Treaty 8 leaders she still doesn’t plan on resigning.

“I’m sorry, I won’t be stepping down because you guys can learn to meet me too; you guys can get to learn to know me too.”

Many Peace region communities, including Fort St. John, and Dawson Creek, asked for Michetti’s resignation once the posts starting floating around near the end of February.

Pouce Coupe council held a special meeting on February 20th, which Michetti did not attend, saying she was too upset. During the meeting, the Village of Pouce Coupe Councillors unanimously voted to remove Mayor Lorraine Michetti from all committees and boards and asked for her resignation.

Following the request, Michetti sent out a release stating her refusal to step down.

“Council did not elect me to do this job, neither did social media community groups or local media, people did,” says Michetti’s statement on February 21st.

“I have at my own expense committed to taking sensitivity training, as well as courses designed to mitigate and eliminate racism of all forms in municipal and business settings.”

The friction amongst council was evident at a council meeting on February 22nd when Michetti made her first appearance in front of councillors after asking for her resignation.

During the meeting, Councillor Ken Drover questioned Michetti about one of the posts.

“You would liken your position to a Jew in a cattle car waiting to go to…” says Drover.

“Once they take our guns away, back when Hitler, that’s what it was all about,” responds Michetti.

“How dare you? That is a terrible, terrible comparison,” says Drover.

Three days later, Drover sent in his resignation letter to the village.

Last week, a petition was created calling for the mayor’s resignation, which currently has over 1,400 signatures.

View the March 1st council meeting below:

Report an error

Read our guiding principles

Thanks for reading!

Energeticcity.ca is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it – but we need your support. Give $10 a month to Energeticcity.ca today and be the reason we can cover the next story. 

More stories you might like