The following is a statement from Chief Dwayne Laboucan issued Nov. 13:
Driftpile Cree Nation chief and council acknowledge the apologies issued by Councillor Joy McGregor and Mayor Tyler Warman, to which they both expressed regret for the culturally insensitive statements made by Councillor McGregor.
On Nov. 12, chief and council met with Mayor Warman in Driftpile. We had a difficult, but ultimately productive discussion about the issues that led to the comments made by Councillor McGregor. The chief and council shared what steps must be taken, both now and in the future by the Town of Slave Lake, to make meaningful and positive change to their satisfaction.
Effective immediately, and in furtherance of the good faith discussions between our respective parties, we will officially lift the boycott.
Let us make one thing abundantly clear. We are not willing to tolerate discriminatory or racist behaviour from those in positions of authority with whom we are expected to engage in meaningful dialogue. As a result, should we become aware of any further instances of discrimination or racism, we will be speaking out and holding those responsible to account. It is time to acknowledge that our people have been in this region since time immemorial. We are committed to working collaboratively with the Town of Slave Lake on many issues affecting our region, and the time for healing must commence immediately.
In closing, we respectfully acknowledge the Driftpile Cree Nation membership for supporting the decision to take a stance to advocate against racism and the unjust treatment of all people. Furthermore, we wish to acknowledge our relatives from across the province who stood in solidarity with Driftpile Cree Nation.
About Driftpile Cree Nation: Driftpile band is situated 30 km west of Swan River, approximately three hours northwest of Edmonton. The reserve is over 15,000 acres and lives along the sandy shoreline of Lesser Slave Lake.