Prince Albert Daily Herald, 26 November, 2007
Supporter defends candidate's credentials
To the Editor:
This letter is in response to a newscast I heard today in reference to David
Orchard and his announcement to run as a Liberal in the
Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding. I was upset by comments made by his
opponent John Dorion who implied that David has no connections to the North and
hasn’t a grasp of the issues of that place. He also went on to say that David
isn’t qualified because of his lack of Cree language skills.
I am a member of the Buffalo River Dene Nation. The riding in question is
very large and Cree isn’t the only Native language spoken. I speak fluent Dene
and would like to know if John can freely converse in that. David speaks French.
There have been other MP’s who spoke only English and still represented the
riding with skill. I think it's a shame that campaign should largely be about
race and language.
John also stated that David had no connection to the North. David is
connected to the North by blood as he is my former brother in law and has a
niece who is also a band member. I have a large family and many of us consider
David's beliefs to be close to what we believe in. We accept him for what he is.
David is known by many in the north for having taken part in the blockade of
logging roads and clear cutting in Canoe Lake in which he was arrested and
jailed with other protesters from surrounding northern communities. David
understands that there is a thin line between responsible harvesting of
resources and exploitation.
David is a long time activist who has a passion for the important issues of
the North and the political know-how to get things done in Ottawa. Our MP should
be elected for his or her ability to represent the riding and not for race or
lack of Native language skills.
Terrie S. Bekattla
Prince Albert SK
* should be the Canadian-Alliance