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Open letter to Premier McNeil on his apology to Black and Mi’kmaw Nova Scotians

Dear Premier McNeil,

I am puzzled by your recent apology and announcement, particularly as it relates to African Nova Scotians. Here’s why.

1. When called on to apologize to individuals for the systemic and direct racism they experienced, you refused. Drs Lynn Jones, Mayann Francis, OmiSoore Dryden, to name a few, come to mind. Your silence was hurtful and didn’t show respect.

2. African Nova Scotians, in particular Dr Lynn Jones and the Global Afrikan Congress-Nova Scotia Chapter, members of the Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, Raymond Sheppard, and others have called for reparations. Without reparations for generations of stolen wealth, land, opportunities and dignity, how can there be justice? 

3. Where is the consultation with members of DPAD who have been calling for an African Nova Scotia Justice Institute – not a restorative justice team – to address and change the unjust treatment of Black Nova Scotians by police and the justice system? 

4. It was under your watch that Bill 111, An Act to Address Environmental Racism, never made it into law. 

5. Lastly, to start this process and leave the community out speaks of disrespect and feels disingenuous

I see you, I hear you, I just no longer believe you.

Carol Millett

New Ross, Nova Scotia

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