Her name was Nicolle Turcotte. She was one of the crowd of young students who had listened enthralled as I spoke of the children who had been killed just down the road.
And, being young, Nicolle was resolved to do something about it.
The weekend after my lecture at her North Saanich high school, Nicolle and five of her friends took some of my leaflets and quietly infiltrated the United Church’s annual meeting in Victoria. They made a beeline for the youth delegates’ table and began talking to them about the Indian residential children who had died in droves at the hands of their church.
“The next thing I knew, some big guy grabbed me by my arm and pulled me up,” Nicolle recalled. “Then he dragged me to the door and pushed me out. I told him I had every right to be there, that it was a public place and I was protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedom. But he laughed and said, ‘We’re the United Church of Canada. The Charter doesn’t apply to us!’”.
Twenty years later I still remember the tears in Nicolle’s eyes as she told me what had happened and fervently demanded to know,
“How do they get away with it?”
- Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice