LETTERS: Sad lesson on racism

Editorial: Re: All things being equal, Dec. 1 editorial.

Editorial:

Re: All things being equal, Dec. 1 editorial.

Promoting human rights and equality in Canadian society needs more than government apologies and reform; it requires awareness of historical wrongs.

During the Second World War, a Dakelh (Carrier) man from the Saik’uz First Nation, Dick Patrick, joined the army, trained as a gunner with the Seaforth Highlanders and fought in Europe. In one incident, Patrick volunteered for a one-man reconnaissance mission. Later, he returned with 55 German prisoners and information on enemy positions, which enabled the Canadians to keep advancing.

A report of Patrick’s exploits reached the desk of British Field Marshall Montgomery, and he was awarded a medal by King George at Buckingham Palace.

Returning home in 1946, Patrick, having survived the fight against Nazi tyranny, quietly walked into a restaurant in Vanderhoof, fully expecting to be served. Instead, he was asked to leave because he was an “Indian.” Arrested and convicted of disturbing the peace, Patrick was sent to jail in New Westminster.

Undeterred, he repeatedly returned to the same restaurant, and 11 times he was arrested and sent to Oakalla. The First Nations man was determined to show Canadians “they could not treat my people like animals.”

Patrick never was served a meal in Vanderhoof, but I think we owe him a debt a gratitude for the way he stood up for human rights, that his convictions be overturned and his story of the harmful effects of racism be taught in schools.

Bob Burgel, Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Court awards Surrey Costco shopping cart collector $583K after car pins him

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when driver backed into him in the parking lot, pinning him

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Committee that replaced Surrey’s Public Safety Committee seven months ago has never met

Surrey mayor dissolved safety committee in July 2019, replaced it with Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee

Extradition case delayed for South Surrey fugitive caught in U.S. after year-long manhunt

Brandon Nathan Teixeira was arrested in California in December

Guildford’s Winter Festival raises nearly $7K for Surrey Memorial Hospital

Funds raised through two weekends of skate rentals, on-site donations

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Woman missing in Metro Vancouver

Police seek public’s help locating Atefeh Jadidian, last seen in Maple Ridge

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

Most Read

l -->