Letters – January 27

Re: Power of Words - Letters Jan. 20-26

Careful what you say

Re: Power of Words – Letters Jan. 20-26

Sorry Julio Tigres: The word “squaw” has been considered derogatory and an outright insult for over 100 years. Each native linguistic group has their own word for women/female, and all are respectful.

However during the neocolonial era, when language was used to put down Native People of Turtle Island, the word squaw was coined, it was and still is considered to mean Native Slut.

Now to end this discussion, I would like to make an agreement with you. If you refrain from using Squaw on the female members of my family and community, I will refrain from using the label White Slut on your family or community.

I might caution you to not use this term in some native groups, as some would react a bit more forcefully.

Richard Lucier-larson, member of Métis Nation

Change is afoot

Re: Opportunity of Change – Jan. 20-26

You described the benefits of such risk taking very succinctly and convincingly. Thanks! I’m forwarding it to my adult son.

Christine Anderson

I thank you for writing this week. I have decided to take my “opportunity of change.” After 14 wonderful years we go back to our roots — back to Alberta, full circle. We get off the island tomorrow, Calgary bound … a new adventure ahead…. I can not wait to see what we are missing.

Melanie Zimmerman

Shake, rattle & fight

Jan. 26 is the provincial emergency “Shake Out” day. We are to “drop, cover and hold” onto something “safe” at 10 am. This is good as long our building doesn’t drop.

Most earthquake deaths result from crushing impacts on our soft bodies inside unsafe buildings during the first minute of intense vibration. I lived through two Los Angeles earthquakes, one of which led to a sad loss of life inside buildings like that. 

The Washington Post said: Scientists urge better buildings to avert carnage (Feb. 24, 2010). Retrofitting and upgrading old structures, and updating code will prevent the large majority of death and injury. Bottled water, beef jerky and a flashlight won’t be of much use after being caught in a collapsed building.

In Japan, the government has supported and legislated industry and large property holders to fully upgrade tall and small buildings. They have emergency centres ready with water, food, shelter and clothing. We need to do that here.

Cutback governments are not likely to invest in that unless we demand it, such as Families for School Seismic Safety is doing. They need our help. On Jan. 26, drop their myth, cover your bottled water and hold onto the idea that we need to make government retroactively enforce code on old buildings while funding the work to make every structure safe.

Larry Wartel, MA Urban Planning

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