Kat Norris: Jack Layton was trusted above other political leaders
Local Coast Salish activist Kat Norris wrote the following letter in response to Jack Layton's death:
Hey Jack, we First Nations/Indigenous people wish to express our deepest condolences to your family, and as you start your journey onto your next life, that we truly appreciated your strength of spirit where it regarded the rights of our people. We, as an entire nation, understand that politics isn't perfect, many don't trust it, but it is a necessary evil we must deal with, and you above all, were the one person our people and leaders trusted.
In regards to the long-awaited public apology regarding our people's residential school holocaust, your apology, was the only that many of survivors and elders accepted with open hearts, allowing the tears to flow, thus allowing to begin the journey to healing.
In our Salish beliefs, we are blessed to be here for a short time on this earth.
When our journey on this earth comes full circle, and it is time to move into the spirit world, we look back on our lives and the people in it, letting them know, in a way only they will understand, 'I am okay.". And our loved ones on the other side wait with open arms, taking us to the pinnacle of the mountain and our lives become complete.
Jack, your good work and words on behalf of our people will become a teaching. For us, it means, basically, that someone within the realms of ‘power,’ cared, that someone was listening to us, to our elder’s quest for justice, for healing.
In the white world, your words will become teaching tools for those who follow behind.
I believe you will not be afraid to look back because we, and those elders who listened to your Residential School Apology, will be here to tell you that, for our people, “you did a good job Jack... move forward with no regrets..”
Lyackson First Nation
Indigenous Action Movement