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Alberta Racist letter shocks Indigenous family in Edmonton-area community

An Indigenous family says they are shocked by a hateful letter telling them to move away — the second such letter in the Edmonton area in recent months.

Jimmy Assiniboine, who is 13, told CTV Edmonton that he read the letter and didn’t know what to think.

The letter, which was left on the family’s doorstep in Leduc, Alta., on New Year’s Day, says “we see you in your house and you portray an Indian lifestyle.”

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It goes on to say, “This is not accepted here,” and suggests the family move out of their neighbourhood.

The Assiniboines say it isn’t the first time they have felt unwelcome, but police have never had any other reports. RCMP are investigating the letter.

“We were just all shocked. We didn’t know what to do,” Mr. Assiniboine said. “I didn’t know people still did this. My mom was actually in a residential school and I thought they were done with that.”

In mid-October, police in the city of St. Albert, just north of Edmonton, investigated a letter left in the Anderson family’s mailbox that appeared to suggest harm could come to them if they didn’t leave the neighbourhood.

The family ended up moving.

In the case of the Assiniboines, they say they aren’t going anywhere and won’t give in to the letter’s demands.

They say the community has been kind and even politicians have weighed in.

“This letter does not represent the spirit of our community, which is one of diversity and inclusion,” Leduc’s deputy mayor Bill Hamilton said. “It is important to us that this family feels accepted and supported in our community.”

Alberta’s Minister of Indigenous Relations, Richard Feehan, has also thanked the Assiniboines for their courage and strength.

“This happens in Alberta,” he wrote on social media. “But just because this happens doesn’t mean we need to accept it.

“Let’s be true neighbours. Let’s speak up. There’s no excuse for such cowardly behaviour.”

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