Letter: Previous letter was meant to raise awareness, not to be anti-LGBTQ

Editor: I am writing this letter to clarify a few things that I feel are important in regards to the proposed rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley.

First of all, I am not anti-LGBTQ and have no issue with showing my support for community endeavors that quell violence, hate speech, or bullying of any kind towards any part of this community.

My viewpoints iterated in my last letter (the Times, Oct. 26) are intended to reach a wide audience in the hopes that it takes into consideration the many issues associated with colonial overrule, and how that violent oppression towards Indigenous peoples made its way here, and was ground zero for those racist endeavors with the establishment of Fort Langley as the first capital of British Columbia.

To be succinct, the architectural, governance, and narratives of how Fort Langley and, to a much larger extent, Langley Township and Langley City have come to be, owe their legacies and affluence to the violent oppression of the Kwantlen people.

No, this is not a matter that happened in some bygone era. It is a continuing matter of fact that Indigenous peoples across this province and across this country continue to feel the effects of the continuation of colonialism, this community not withstanding.

My words are a call to all levels of government, business, and real estate development to own their part in that process, and is not intended as hate speech toward the LGBTQ community or the good people who try and make space for loved ones and friends who feel similar onslaughts of misinformation, hatred, bullying, marginalization, and segregation — which the Indigenous community knows plenty about.

My sincere hope is that the fine artists who have took it upon themselves to raise funds to paint a rainbow coloured crosswalk see these issues for their similarities and not their differences, and that I do indeed support their cause.

My apologies to those who did not see my reasoning behind my previous letter to the newspaper and for any harm this has caused you.

In my mind, a rainbow coloured crosswalk is a good place to start with making space and acknowledging our LGBTQ community, but beware, that under the mandate of current real estate development in Langley, and the current incarnation of the Fort Langley BIA, that they have no respect for the Kwantlen Nation, and that the current Township government has no idea what authentic engagement is when it comes to matters of inclusion.

So don’t allow any of those groups to give you space for a crosswalk and then (let) that be the end of what could be a great and much needed movement towards equality and socio-cultural legitimacy. So far, their track record is dismal.

Just take a look around at all the symbols and pride they have in the Indigenous aesthetic in this community.

The aesthetic of Fort Langley is a theme park for British colonialism and patriarchy, and not a celebration of diversity, which is shameful and blatantly purposeful and ignorant.

Brandon Gabriel,

Kwantlen First Nation