POUCE COUPE, B.C.-The mayor of a village in northeastern British Columbia says she is sorry for an online post that was not meant to be racist against Indigenous Peoples, but now she wants people to stop bullying her.
Lorraine Michetti, who was first elected in Pouce Coupe in 2016, said through tears that she realizes people were hurt after seeing the post showing photos of garbage-strewn lawns with a caption that suggested people who want to protect their land from pipelines should clean up their own backyards.
Michetti says in an interview that she put the post on Facebook about two years ago and took it down about 10 minutes later but it was saved by someone and she believes it would resurface.
Instead, the mayor says she reposted the original herself last week and that it was meant to draw attention to environmental issues though she now understands its contents were offensive to some people.
She says she has contacted local First Nations to take cultural training courses and will continue in her job as mayor despite councillors asking her to step down.
Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne says Michetti’s actions are serious and there is “no space” for anti-Indigenous racism by anyone, adding that all elected officials must be accountable to their communities.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020.