The Minister of Indigenous Relations of Manitoba resigns from the Cabinet after the Prime Minister commented on colonial history
Eileen Clarke has resigned as Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Relations in Manitoba after Governor Brian Pallister commented last week that the colonization of Canada was Out of goodwill.
Clark confirmed her resignation on Wednesday morning and said Pallister’s comments were a factor in the decision, but she did not specify which comments.
Clark said that out of respect, she will not talk further about her resignation now Manitoba Chief Assembly Election on Wednesday. Her constituency office confirmed that she will continue to serve as a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).
She said she resigned on Friday afternoon. Two days ago, after a walking event to commemorate the Aboriginal children who died in a boarding school, Pallister took part in the removal of the statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in the Manitoba Legislature on Canada’s National Day. Punished.
“We need to respect our traditions, just as we need to respect each other… Don’t be picky, don’t demolish, don’t emphasize every failure, but realize that we are a complicated country because we are made Composed of complicated people,” Pallister said at a press conference, adding that the statues will be restored.
“The people who came to this country-before it became a country-since then-have not come here to destroy anything. They are here to build. They are to build better.”
Watch | Pallister’s views on Clark’s resignation:
Clark was first elected as the Progressive Conservative Provincial Member of the Agassiz constituency in 2016 and became Minister of Indigenous and Municipal Relations in the same year. Her profile on the government website Say. The ministry was later renamed.
She was re-elected as a provincial councillor in 2019 and remained as a minister until she resigned last week.
Pallister will not comment on the reasons for Clark’s resignation on Wednesday. The province subsequently announced that Manitoba will undergo a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday morning.
“People have lost confidence”
Mary Jane Logan McCallum, professor of history at the University of Winnipeg and chair of the Canadian Indigenous Peoples, History and Archives Research, said she was initially surprised by Clark’s resignation, but ultimately felt that the move made sense.
“When you think about the kind of work she did with the indigenous people, when she represents… a political party with this kind of leadership, how does she build these relationships and work with people?” McCallum said he was Member of Munsee-Delaware Nation, Ontario.
McCallum said that in the past few years, she has felt progress on issues related to indigenous peoples. She said that while comments like Pallister can weaken the feeling, people taking a stand, as she thinks Clarke did, can strengthen the feeling.
“When you see this kind of movement in the party, [it feels] As it is now, maybe this will actually be a greater movement of change,” McCallum said.
Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said that Pallister’s remarks are still unlikely to be enough for anyone in the party to challenge his leadership, especially because Before his term expired, he had opened the door to let him step down.
But there is still room for others in the party to oppose these comments, especially because they come from a leader who “is responsible for most of the troubles in the party,” Thomas said.
“I think some people have lost confidence and trust in the prime minister. So we have to see if others will join Ms. Clarke. It’s not certain at this time,” he said.
Pallister support comments
At a press conference on Wednesday, Pallister said he supports his comments.
“I continue to advocate that we build rather than destroy,” he said.
The leader of the opposition New Democrat Party, Wabu Kinho, said-after Pallister’s remarks, which he called division and racism, and Clark’s subsequent resignation-other members of the cabinet can choose.
“I think the question is, for each of the remaining PC cabinet ministers, do you support Mr. Pallister’s racist comments? Or do you agree with Secretary Clarke’s views?” Kinyw told reporters late Wednesday.
At the same time, PC MLA Shannon Martin (McPhillips) Regrets Clark’s resignation on Twitter But said her decision is understandable. He described Clark as a “relentless advocate of reconciliation.”
Several aboriginal groups also issued statements in response to Clark’s resignation.
Leroy Constant, the interim chief of the Manitoba Council of Chiefs, said he was disappointed that Clark had left her position, but praised her for “making a glorious decision in light of recent events.”
Chief Dennis Mitches, spokesperson for a treaty country, said Clark has worked hard to establish a relationship of mutual respect with the leaders of Manitoba’s aboriginal people.
Mitches said that, unfortunately, Pallister’s “attitudes and comments” towards the indigenous people “make Ms. Clark’s work unbearable”.
Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba, described Clark’s resignation as an “act of integrity.”
“Given the challenging environment in which Irene Clark works, any settlement-related goals must be difficult to advance,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s latest mistake
Pallister’s comments last week were criticized by indigenous and non-indigenous scholars for being historically insignificant and insensitive, marking his recent stumble on issues related to the indigenous peoples of Manitoba.
In 2017, he said that the difference between indigenous and non-indigenous people on illegal night hunting was “Turned into a race war. “Palister did not apologize for these remarks, although he later said he used “Wrong word choice.”
At the end of 2020, the Prime Minister suggested that priority should be given to Indigenous people’s COVID-19 vaccination, which will enable Manitoba people to “Behind the team“If the province does not get a larger proportion of the injection dose.
These comments were slammed by indigenous leaders, including Settee, who Ask for an apology.