(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/Vancouver, B.C.) — People’s Party of Canada Candidate Renate Siekmann distributed a pamphlet yesterday that equates the genocide of Indigenous peoples with vaccine mandates. The brochure shows an image of a group of Indigenous students standing on the steps of an Indian residential school with the statement, “Discrimination is wrong. No vaccine passport.”
“As First Nations, entire generations of our peoples were stolen from their families and communities. They were tortured, physically and sexually abused, and murdered. They lost their languages and cultures, and thousands of our precious children never came home, ” stated BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “Claiming that a public health measure, such as a vaccine passport, is somehow comparable or equivalent to violent and genocidal practices is harmful and repugnant.”
The BC Assembly of First Nations calls for the People’s Party of Canada to remove Ms. Siekmann as their candidate for Vancouver-Quadra and for leader Maxime Bernier to publicly denounce the false equivalency between vaccine passports and the violent removal of Indigenous children from their families as part of the Canadian government’s genocide against Indigenous peoples.
“Ms. Siekmann has shown an immense depth of ignorance and a severe lack of judgment here. More disheartening is that many Canadians believe that public health measures make them victims of prejudice,” Regional Chief Teegee continued. “An inconvenient interruption in your social life to save lives during a deadly pandemic is not discrimination. Ms. Siekmann must be removed as a candidate, and Maxime Bernier must apologize,” he concluded.