UBCIC raises concerns over the resignation of former Terrace councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs has sent a letter to the Terrace mayor and city council raising concerns over the resignation of former councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller, who had been the first Indigenous councillor for Terrace. The letter outlined how McCallum-Miller is a young Gitxsan, Nisga'a and Tsimshian woman who was passionate about advancing Indigenous peoples' rights and welfare and other marginalized community members.
UBCIC documented their disappointment in hearing how McCallum-Miller struggled to have City Council respect her diverse and unique perspectives. They urge the Mayor and Council to examine its processes, practices and to identify and address any internal or suppressed intolerance, prejudices, and fears with solutions.
The Union supports a thorough investigation into McCallum-Millers' time in council but not through the BC ombudsperson who they feel may perpetuate the colonial attitudes. They assert that the investigation is conducted by an Indigenous person who is well informed on Indigenous Title and Rights and the TRC's Calls to Action. The group wants the council to accept cultural competency training in the future and make a clear plan to implement more initiatives aimed at improving inclusion and reconciliation in the community.
UBCIC also recommends that these issues around inclusion and cultural sensitivity training are discussed and advanced at the Union of BC Municipalities' annual convention to secure united action among local governments and municipalities in addressing internal and systemic discrimination and sexism.
McCallum-Miller responded to the letter in a Facebook post thanking the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, for writing the open letter and expressing the need for Localized Cultural Awareness Training with Tsimshian Peoples on their unceded territory.