Bigstone chief calls for boycott of Slave Lake

Leader staff

Two weeks after calling out a Slave Lake town councillor for a social media post, Bigstone Cree Nation Chief Andy Alook went on the offensive again, calling for a boycott of Slave Lake.

On June 14, Alook demanded a public apology from Councillor Shawn Gramlich, for what he called “slanderous” remarks. He apparently didn’t get it, because on June 28, he released the following statement:

“In response to the derogatory social media post earlier this month, and the lack of remorse…..Bigstone Cree Nation hereby announces a boycott of all goods and services from the Town of Slave Lake immediately.”

As reported earlier, Gramlich’s social media post (since removed) showed a white van driving down a street, apparently in Slave Lake. His accompanying remarks did not name Bigstone, or First Nations people specifically, but did refer to ‘one of our neighbouring communities,’ and implied something was going on that shouldn’t have been.

Alook’s initial response not only called for an apology, but demanded Gramlich’s resignation. That also hasn’t happened.

In the June 28 release, the Chief also said: “First Nations people deserve better treatment and mutual respect, especially from those who hold a public office.”

Alook goes on in the release to call on First Nations and Métis people to boycott Slave Lake “and make your voices loud and clear, that we refuse to be treated any less than equal.”

The Leader asked the Slave Lake Mayor last week to comment, but she declined to say anything on the topic.

The June 26 story in The Leader (Bigstone Chief slams town councillor) may have given the impression that the ‘death threats’ mentioned by Lesser Slave Lake MLA Scott Sinclair in his comments on the situation were by Chief Alook. Sinclair had said in a social media post, ‘regardless of how his (Gramlich’s) post was perceived, I don’t think death threats against him or his family are appropriate.’

Sinclair didn’t specify, but he was almost certainly referring to social media reaction, not to anything Chief Alook had said.

Bigstone Cree Nation Chief Andy Alook

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One thought on “Bigstone chief calls for boycott of Slave Lake

  1. Next will be to stop all of Slave Lake forest companies from logging on Bigstone Traditional Territory!! We see loads of logging trucks hauling logs out of our territory with no benefits to Bigstone Cree Nation.


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