‘A significant step backwards’: First Nation leaders react to Jody Wilson-Raybould resignation - APTN NewsAPTN News

‘A significant step backwards’: First Nation leaders react to Jody Wilson-Raybould resignation

 Jody Wilson-Raybould was the first Indigenous person to be Canada’s justice minister.

Kathleen Martens
APTN News
As Jody Wilson-Raybould remained mum on her resignation from cabinet Tuesday, there was no shortage of Indigenous leaders willing to speak for her.

“I’m absolutely pissed,” said Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

“The bullying and deceit coming out of the PMO’s office in regard to this entire matter – it just represents the absolute dark underside of federal politics in this country.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould, an MP in Vancouver, said she hired a lawyer to advise her.

But he declined to comment Tuesday.

“I won’t be doing any statements or interviews,” Thomas Cromwell, a former judge, told APTN News in an email.


Phillip said it was hard to watch “such a highly respected, hard-working, conscientious” person dragged through the political mud of Ottawa.

Wilson-Raybould’s name has been embroiled in a scandal involving SNC Lavalin, a Quebec engineering firm with ties to the Liberal party, for the last week.

“Her greatest strength is her deep sense of integrity and commitment to the people that she has served,” Phillip added.

Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band of B.C. echoed Phillip’s praise of the former Attorney General.

And said she sees Wilson-Raybould’s treatment as part of a worrying trend between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indigenous women.

“When I heard what he did to Jody Wilson-Raybould, I was saying it must be continued behaviour and that continued behaviour is what’s self-destructing the cabinet,” said Wilson, secretary-treasurer at UBCIC.

“What happened to me was a real tell-tale sign of how Trudeau’s government is operating.”

Read: No apology from prime minister over ‘condescending, sexist’ remark 

UBCIC demanded an apology after the prime minister addressed Wilson by her first name and not her official title at a special chief’s assembly in December.

“I still haven’t received an apology,” Wilson noted in a telephone interview.

Cabinet privilege prevented Wilson-Raybould, also the former minister of justice, from addressing the scandal.

But Doug Kelly, president of the Stó:lō Tribal Council in B.C., said her integrity is beyond question.

“I have nothing but love, respect and regard for (her)…she moved all of her significant projects set out in her mandate letter.”

Kelly said Trudeau has angered some First Nations people in B.C. by first demoting Wilson-Raybould and then “he condoned personal and vindictive attacks that are anonymous from members of his cabinet and members of his office.

“That is reprehensible and that’s disgusting.”

Kelly said Trudeau’s actions have him considering leaving the party of which he is “a card-carrying” member.

“There’s no other word for it but Liberal arrogance,” he said.

Read the statement from the MKO: Jody Wilson Raybould

National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he was “saddened” by the high-profile resignation.

“Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s appointment as minister of Justice and Attorney General was celebrated by many First Nations people as a tremendous accomplishment and testament to her expertise, experience and intellect,” he said in an emailed statement.

“…I am concerned about the many unanswered questions about Jody Wilson-Raybould’s departure and this is echoed by many First Nations across the country.”

The grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak also lamented the political loss.

“The northern Manitoba First Nations admired and respected the member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville as the first Indigenous minister of justice, and observed her leadership as critical to advancing justice for the MKO First Nations,” Garrison Settee said in a statement.

“MKO sees the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould as a significant step backwards in our longstanding efforts to advance reconciliation between the MKO Treaty Nations and Canada.”

Phillip, meanwhile, said he was angry enough to plan further action.

“I just want to take this to streets, to be quite honest,” he said.

kmartens@aptn.ca

@katmarte

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14 Responses to “‘A significant step backwards’: First Nation leaders react to Jody Wilson-Raybould resignation”

  1. r***********@sasktel.net'
    poncho February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    Poncho
    This last two governments have done nothing for their parties to look at in the next election. They are both criminals in government time to get them both out or should I say three as there are two cons_____tive parties eh. Poncho

  2. a*********@yahoo.ca'
    AnneMarie February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    I think the country needs more information before we jump to conclusions about either side. She is doing the right thing by obtaining quality legal counsel before speaking. And please…leave the race and gender aside…she has more than earned a higher level of respect, and I doubt if she appreciates the whining.

    • n****************@hotmail.com'
      Nancy Williams February 19, 2019 at 8:48 pm #

      AnneMarie, I totally agree. We need more information before jumping to conclusions. I believe she is doing the right thing as well by remaining quiet and seeking counsel before she speaks.

  3. p*************@shaw.ca'
    Pauline Terbasket February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    Think about how much “others” news is being missed with this one story? yes, sure I am as upset infuriated outraged but not disillusioned – why? what do you expect really as a Indigeneous womyn observing what is playing out – political corruption? Corporate power and greed…etc? Lim’limpt Puglass for Standing on sacred ground ✊✊

  4. Ambhandley@yahoo.ca'
    AnneMarie February 15, 2019 at 1:45 am #

    I think the country needs more information before we jump to conclusions about either side. She is doing the right thing by obtaining quality legal counsel before speaking. And please…leave the race and gender aside…she has more than earned a higher level of respect, and I doubt if she appreciates the whining.

    • nanlinfakwilliams@hotmail.com'
      Nancy Williams February 15, 2019 at 4:41 am #

      AnneMarie, I totally agree. We need more information before jumping to conclusions. I believe she is doing the right thing as well by remaining quiet and seeking counsel before she speaks.

  5. ron.escalade@sasktel.net'
    poncho February 14, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    Poncho
    This last two governments have done nothing for their parties to look at in the next election. They are both criminals in government time to get them both out or should I say three as there are two cons_____tive parties eh. Poncho

  6. Pterbasket1957@shaw.ca'
    Pauline Terbasket February 14, 2019 at 1:29 am #

    Think about how much “others” news is being missed with this one story? yes, sure I am as upset infuriated outraged but not disillusioned – why? what do you expect really as a Indigeneous womyn observing what is playing out – political corruption? Corporate power and greed…etc? Lim’limpt Puglass for Standing on sacred ground ✊✊

  7. erniecrey@gmail.com'
    e. crey February 13, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    Finally, a few leaders get up the gumption to speak up. Now, where are the others?

  8. larwhite@telus.net'
    Larry White February 13, 2019 at 2:21 am #

    The way Hon Jody Wilson-Raybould has been treated by PM Trudeau is an utter shame.
    He is consistent in his covering his own behind.
    Tell him to get into the House and face the music.
    What a buck passer.

  9. mcivor_gerald@hotmail.com'
    Gerald McIvor February 13, 2019 at 2:00 am #

    THINK ABOUT THIS WITH TRUDEAU’S “PRESSURE-GATE”

    The demotion of Jody Wilson-Raybould and her subsequent resignation as Veterans Affairs Minister truly has nothing to do with her being Indigenous or being a woman.

    This has everything to do with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and his close circle of loyalists in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) protecting one of their corporate heavy political donors and trying to pressure the Justice Minister to meddle in a formal criminal investigation and inoculate SNC-Lavalin from losing billions of dollars worth of government contracts if they were criminally convicted of the bribery and other illegal activities they are under investigation.

    I have no personal or political use for Jody Wilson-Raybould but am glad that she did demonstrate a degree of integrity, honesty and respect for the rule of law which is so lacking from all elected persons in this country.

    Do not invoke her heritage or gender because those two factors are just happenstance and not factors in which this criminal cover-up is playing out.

    Through the years, I have studied Political Science, law and psychology academically and my trained eye can see what is really what in this matter.

    THIS IS A CRIME COVER UP, NOT MISOGYNY, GENDER OR RACIAL BIAS. BUT A CRIME COVER UP.

    THIS IS A PRIME MINISTER AND HIS ADVISORS TRYING TO PROTECT HIS FELLOW ONE PERCENTERS WHILE TRYING TO COVER UP THE ABUSES OF POLITICAL POSITIONS, CONTRAVENTIONS OF THE RULE OF LAW AND UNPRECEDENTED BREACHES OF ETHICS . NO MORE, NO LESS!

  10. e********@gmail.com'
    e. crey February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    Finally, a few leaders get up the gumption to speak up. Now, where are the others?

  11. l*******@telus.net'
    Larry White February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    The way Hon Jody Wilson-Raybould has been treated by PM Trudeau is an utter shame.
    He is consistent in his covering his own behind.
    Tell him to get into the House and face the music.
    What a buck passer.

  12. m************@hotmail.com'
    Gerald McIvor February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    THINK ABOUT THIS WITH TRUDEAU’S “PRESSURE-GATE”

    The demotion of Jody Wilson-Raybould and her subsequent resignation as Veterans Affairs Minister truly has nothing to do with her being Indigenous or being a woman.

    This has everything to do with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and his close circle of loyalists in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) protecting one of their corporate heavy political donors and trying to pressure the Justice Minister to meddle in a formal criminal investigation and inoculate SNC-Lavalin from losing billions of dollars worth of government contracts if they were criminally convicted of the bribery and other illegal activities they are under investigation.

    I have no personal or political use for Jody Wilson-Raybould but am glad that she did demonstrate a degree of integrity, honesty and respect for the rule of law which is so lacking from all elected persons in this country.

    Do not invoke her heritage or gender because those two factors are just happenstance and not factors in which this criminal cover-up is playing out.

    Through the years, I have studied Political Science, law and psychology academically and my trained eye can see what is really what in this matter.

    THIS IS A CRIME COVER UP, NOT MISOGYNY, GENDER OR RACIAL BIAS. BUT A CRIME COVER UP.

    THIS IS A PRIME MINISTER AND HIS ADVISORS TRYING TO PROTECT HIS FELLOW ONE PERCENTERS WHILE TRYING TO COVER UP THE ABUSES OF POLITICAL POSITIONS, CONTRAVENTIONS OF THE RULE OF LAW AND UNPRECEDENTED BREACHES OF ETHICS . NO MORE, NO LESS!