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The Open Letter to Lynn Beyak That Everyone Ought to Read

In 2017, I was insulted to read Lynn Beyak's claims that our general outlook on residential schools shouldn't impede that there was - in her words: "an abundance of good". She not only refused to apologize after the backlash, but instead doubled-down on her ignorance. I had composed a quick letter that I saved as an image to post on Twitter (to get around their meager character limit). At the time, it generated a lot of attention, dozens of likes, and a couple of journalists had even asked to contact me to talk about it further. I wasn't entirely comfortable with making it that public; I only wanted it to be read and hopefully understood by many. I ended up deleting the post after Lynn was removed from the Conservative Caucus.

But as time wore on, we faced more challenges from people who refuse to understand the lasting effects of residential school, and how someone like my husband is living with, and still tolerating abuse and discrimination. I found myself wishing that maybe I should have gone public. Maybe if my story reached hundreds of people, perhaps it could have changed one mind. Perhaps that individual could help change the minds of others around them. Who knows?

With that, I want to repost my open letter to Lynn. I have also reached out to the Times Colonist who published my full-length article on what I see looking out from the inside of an interracial marriage. The article can be viewed in the February 7, 2021 edition.

Until then, my words to Lynn Beyak in 2017 are unfortunately still prevalent, and this time the message is directed at every online troll, every close-minded nationalist, or anyone who needs to understand what residential school abuse did to my husband and others like him, and how it's also affected me and my marriage today.



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