On June 12, 2020 Stettler Against Racism hosted a peaceful protest at the William E. Hays football field to support the global Black Lives Matter campaign. The event was hosted by Catherine Robinson and Cheryl Jamie.
Jamie started the protest with a recognition that it was being help on Treaty Six Territory—acknowledging the many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples who have lived on these lands for many generations. Following that, speakers came and shared their stories about racism and how it has affected them, and no story was the same.
"I have been called a dirty Indian and that I should go back to where I can from." Cheryl Jaime
Jamie spoke about the Red Dress Program, which is a program to educate people about the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
The protest was to bring about awareness, educate people and tell people that you have to keep fighting, that just because you attended this protest, it does not mean that you have done your part.
The protest was to show support for the people who have been impacted by racism; to show that they are not alone and that a change has to be made.
"No justice, no peace!" These words were said often throughout the protest to show others that people are going to keep protesting until justice is found.
Many people attended this event with varying reasons from person to person. However, the standard answer was that they wanted to be present to stand up against racism, learn, and educate others about the racism in our community and around the globe.
People asked why it is essential to hold this protest in a Stettler. The question was answered with responses explaining that racism is everywhere. Even when you don't hear about it or see it all the time living in a small town does not mean that it is not happening and is not important.
"My youngest daughter is a young Indigenous girl, and I don't want her growing up here hearing the things I used to hear in school. (not directed to her) I will not tolerate racism towards her from anyone, and no one can tell me this isn't an issue in Stettler, it is everywhere." Catherine Robinson
Jessica Campbell, Youth Reporter