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Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

.........................................................................................................Context, examined

Shifting public attitudes toward aboriginal peoples will be a long and arduous process; success is conceivable only if the federal government spearheads eradicating prejudices that are so deep-rooted, they go unnoticed.

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Responding to opposition party challenges about addressing the high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, the Conservatives referred to RCMP statistics that aboriginal men figured large in these crimes.

I was shocked to my core that those statistics were cited to justify in any way the government's continued inertia on this matter.

I live in a predominantly Caucasian neighbourhood. If a high number of females here were to be murdered or go missing, and it was revealed that men in my neighbourhood were overwhelmingly responsible for these crimes, it is inconceivable that this fact would be used to justify doing nothing new.

Penny Gill, Dundas, Ont.

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A letter writer suggests context is found in the fact even the children of British privileged classes were sent to residential schools, where they were subject to caning and other harsh punishments that were acceptable in the day (The Nation's Soul – June 5).

The real context is that aboriginals were sent to these schools to have their parents' culture erased and replaced with a foreign one.

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My father and other privileged children were sent to their boarding schools to become more immersed in their parents' culture. Instead of being beaten for speaking their native language, they were caned for not speaking and writing it well enough.

They were driven to learn and excel at their history and culture, not to be ashamed of it and lose their own roots.

While boarding school left scars on my father, if he had been caned and beaten to make him forget English, forget English history, and punished if he ever read Shakespeare, he likely would've returned a very damaged soul.

That is the context here.

Blair Langmuir, Waterloo, Ont.

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City of champions

Having lived in Toronto (a city, I love) but grown up in Edmonton, I know there is no way either hipsters, Maple Leaf or Toronto Football Club fans would get behind women's amateur sport like Edmontonians (Opening The World Cup Anywhere But Toronto Is A National Embarrassment – Sports, June 5).

I doubt very much that Toronto could sell out Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium (50,000 capacity). Talk about fundamentally misunderstanding Albertans: You'd think anyone associated with The Globe would have learned a lesson after it recommended Jim Prentice for premier.

Orlagh O'Kelly, Ottawa

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I love Cathal Kelly's vivid writing, even when he's wrong. But Toronto mussed up its copybook when some misogynist fans got their clocks cleaned by a female reporter. That went around the world, too.

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This World Cup is about building the sport in Canada, especially without alienating a whole section of it, the Canadian West.

Graham Watt, Sackville, N.B.

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The level of support for this event in Alberta is huge. Toronto is not the only city in Canada.

Anne F. Nothof, Sherwood Park, Alta.

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Expat voters

After several readings of your editorial regarding the rights of expatriate Canadians to vote in federal elections, I am still not sure what The Globe's editorial writers are in favour of – except that they are not convinced that Canadian expats should have this right if they have chosen to live outside Canada for longer than five years (Vote Away! – June 5).

Unfortunately, as in criminal law, intent is key, but hard to prove.

Those citizens who come to Canada solely to qualify for citizenship, then return to their country of origin with no intent of returning here, unless it is to escape unrest or receive medical care, might not deserve retaining the right to vote.

Real expats are generally thought to be Canadians who, being either born here or immigrants, leave our shores for adventure or work experience, among other reasons. Members of this group almost always mean to return to live here permanently, but their lives change and some never return, having found a new country more to their liking.

Bill C-50 seems to be a reasonable compromise, as those who really want to vote will find a way.

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Voting statistics for citizens who actually live in Canada show a lamentably low level of participation, so, sadly, few expats are likely to bother.

Colin Lowe, Nanaimo, B.C.

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Go, Sens, go

Re Senate Leaders Flagged In Expenses Audit (June 5): These latest allegations of abuse of taxpayer dollars should move the idea of abolishing the Senate from pleasant daydream to immediate necessity.

Canada is governed, not for the comfort of the political class, but in the name of Canadians and with their consent. So let the people speak. A simple referendum question, attached to the October ballot – Should the Senate of Canada be abolished? – would allow us to make this decision.

A yes vote of 50 per cent plus one should be sufficient.

A constitutional conference then could be immediately arranged to complete the process of ridding us of this institution. I doubt that any politician would wish to stand in the way of the Canadian people.

Robert Cairns, Cobourg, Ont.

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It doesn't ad up

Sounds like Tim Hortons is getting what it deserves (Oil And Coffee: Tim Hortons Caught Up In Energy PR War – Report on Business, June 5).

Customers are there for coffee/sandwiches/doughnuts and not to be forced to listen to paid advertising for anyone other than Tims (and they likely don't want much of that, either.)

If Tims wants to sell third-party advertising in its outlets, then let it face the consequences if customers don't like the ads.

T.A. Bryk, Toronto

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About those shoes

Re Think It All Depends On X And Y Chromosomes? Think Again (June 5): Perhaps a colleague of mine summed it up best when she remarked, "Life was simpler when there were just two sexes."

While the comment was meant whimsically, Caitlyn Jenner's decision to forever abandon her identity as Bruce highlights the need for us to rethink old assumptions.

For example, an individual's X and/or Y chromosomal makeup is no longer a reliable reference of one's sexuality. The highly personal act of choosing a new gender-adjusted name has profound meaning for both the newly sexually identified individuals, as well as for those close to them.

Yes, there is the delicate matter of the choice of which washroom to use. On that point, I would suggest to women who are uncomfortable with sharing facilities with a she who was born a he, if he shows an interest in you, it's most likely to ask, "Where did you get those shoes?"

Ross Howey, Toronto

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