Across the river from the main grounds of the Calgary Stampede sits the Elbow River Camp, a location that immerses visitors in the cultures of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Tsuut'ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations peoples.
There are 26 tipis representing the different nations and families, in addition to authentic artisanal goods, interpretive stations, traditional dancing and of course, bannock.
We were warmly greeted by one of the interpretive guides, Ruby Starlight Sitting Eagle, and asked her about her experience at Stampede and what it meant to share her culture with visitors.
We also spoke about the recent discoveries at residential schools and how being able to share her family’s stories with folks at the Stampede has played a part in the healing process for First Nations communities.
Ruby also decried the acts of vandalism and arson currently plaguing Canadian churches. Her own grandfather helped build Our Lady of Peace church on the Tsuut'ina First Nation. Her Catholic faith is a vital part of her identity, and her faith has helped her and many others in her community get through many challenges, including the impacts of residential school tragedies.
We have heard leaders from numerous First Nations across the country condemn acts of hatred against Christian communities that are divisive and contrary to the spirit of reconciliation. Meanwhile, progressive elites and so-called civil liberties advocates are tweeting about “burning it all down.”
I think, perhaps, the entitled politicos and sophists should sit this one out.
We need to stop speaking on behalf of our First Nations people.
We need to start listening.
My boss, Ezra Levant, agrees with the countless First Nations leaders who have called for an end to the hateful acts of arson and vandalism that are plaguing Canada.
So much so that he has offered $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. Go to FindTheArsonist.com for details, or if you have any information that might help hold the arsonists accountable.