Mishel Assiniboine has owned her home in the Edmonton suburb of Leduc, Alberta for 20 years.
“The schools in the area are really awesome,” Assiniboine said. “The daycares or programs we’ve been involved in are really welcoming and amazing.
“We have long-term friends here, so do my kids, so we have a lot of support and a really great community.”
While they’ve had some vandalism and visits from city bylaw officers based on anonymous complaints about her uncut lawn or un-shovelled walkway, a letter received on New Year’s Day was the first outright taste of racism they’ve experienced in a long time.
Assiniboine found the letter stuffed into the railing to her home.
“We do not like your kind here,” part of the letter read.
It went on to say that too many people lived in the home and that they’re “ruining the neighbourhood.”
The five bedroom home houses the family of six.
The letter went on to say that they should go back to the reserve.
“We gave you land and you need to respect the generosity,” said the letter.
Assiniboine was shocked.
“There’s some anger, some sadness, some people are scared. A lot of us don’t really know what to think about it. It’s shocking,” she said.
Leduc Deputy Mayor Bill Hamilton was quick to condemn the letter.
“We do not tolerate any kind of hateful behaviour,” he said in a statement released on Jan. 1.
“We are working with the RCMP to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to investigate this letter and ensure the family’s safety.”
Police are investigating the case and bylaw services is examining to see if the same person who lodged earlier complaints is responsible.
Victim’s services has reached out to the family.
This latest letter is eerily similar to one left for an Indigenous family in another Edmonton suburb last fall.