End the social injustice!

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It was with great interest and concern that I read the December 16, 2020 article regarding Roger Fleury and his “cultural hunt.”  Regardless of Mr.

It was with great interest and concern that I read the December 16, 2020 article regarding Roger Fleury and his “cultural hunt.”  Regardless of Mr. Fleury’s disputed title of Chief of Pontiac Anishinaabek Fort-Coulonge Kichesipirini, it’s unfair for anyone outside of the Fort Coulonge community to suggest to citizens of Algonquin identity, either non-status or of intergenerationally mixed French Canadian and Algonquin identity (Métis), that they “do not exist.” 
Verna Polson critiques Fleury’s invitation to a cultural hunt by stating “a cultural hunt does not exist among the Anishinabeg.”  As my own mixed identity is linked to the historic fur trade post of Fort Coulonge, I interpreted the invitation as one that perhaps uses bow and arrow rather than firearms; as one that would make use of all parts of the animal for its gifts; and that perhaps Traditional Teachings—that have largely been lost or forgotten—would be part of the excursion. It seemed odd that Ms. Polson would deduce Fleury’s invitation as a hunt merely “for the pleasure of killing.”
I do not know the members of the Pontiac Anishinaabek Fort-Coulonge Kichesipirini, but many Fort-Coulonge residents are of Algonquin or Métis identity—an identity that has been suppressed, ridiculed, and denied due to generations of systemic and overt racism and discrimination. It saddens me that in this era of
anti-racism and decolonization, citizens of the Pontiac of veritable Kitchisippirini descent and identity are made to feel shame by outsiders. It’s time the citizens of Fort-Coulonge stand up proudly for who we are and where we came from, and reject all forms of social injustice endured, even from our own historic cousins within traditional unceded Algonquin territory.

 Suzanne Halpin
AYLMER