Re: ‘Disrespectful to ancestors in every way,’ Sept. 15.
Arrogance and white privilege: that’s what spewed from the mouth of White Rock’s Mayor Wayne Baldwin in response to the Semiahmoo First Nation issuing a cease-and-desist order halting the city’s plans to significantly renovate and expand Memorial Park.
Semiahmoo Chief Harley Chappell handed Baldwin the cease-and-desist order at the park’s groundbreaking ceremony, citing lack of consultation with the Semiahmoo First Nations on traditional band lands, which Chief Harley stated is potentially an ancient burial ground.
If it turns out in fact to be an ancient burial ground, it may well be wholly inappropriate to proceed with the city’s park expansion plans. But rather than respectfully agreeing to set aside the city’s plans pending belated consultation and potential archeological exploration, which may or may not result in the shelving of the city’s plan, in the manner of an imperious colonial master Baldwin asserted: “We will cease right now, we will pack this up, we will get this straightened away and we will continue with the project.”
Baldwin might as well have quoted U.S. Civil War Admiral David Farragut’s infamous quip “full speed ahead, damn the torpedos.”
Jef Keighley, Surrey
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Regarding the relationship between the councils of White Rock and the Semiahmoo First Nations, I thought Chief Harley Chappell’s suggestion that the two councils involved should meet and consult together was a good idea.
It would be fruitful, however, only if amicable and respectful exchange occurs in a neutral venue with a moderator respected and accepted by both parties.
Peace Arch Park?
Merrill Muttart, White Rock