October 17, 2018 6:13 pm
Updated: October 18, 2018 5:55 pm

Threatening letter that says ‘this isn’t a reserve’ prompts Alberta family to move

WATCH ABOVE: A letter directed at a young family north of Edmonton is racist and hateful and has gone viral. As Sarah Kraus explains, the family that received it is in shock.

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UPDATE: On Wednesday night, residents of the Grandin community in St. Albert came out to show their support for Katrina Anderson and her family. Click here to read more.

A wife and mother of three pre-teen children says her family is moving from their St. Albert, Alta., condo because they don’t feel safe after receiving a racist and threatening letter.

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“We feel unwelcome in our neighbourhood,” Katrina Anderson told Global News on Wednesday. “We’ve never done anything wrong to anybody.”

Anderson said her 12-year-old daughter came home from school on Monday afternoon and found the letter in the mailbox and texted her mother right away.

“I was appalled. I couldn’t believe that somebody wrote that.”

The letter was addressed to “the very unwanted and hated neighbours” and said it was from “your friendly Phase 2 neighbours.”

The note says the family is hated by the entire Grandin neighbourhood condo community because Anderson’s children are “constantly rollerblading and scootering on our driveways.” It complains that her children can be heard “hooting and hollering” when they play football and basketball.

“We don’t like your kind around here,” the note went on to say. “We lock our doors at night when there was no need to do that before you moved in.”

The letter said complaints were being made about the family to the condo board and that they were being passed on to the condo owner that Anderson rents the home from.

“Move out or things will escalate. Would not want to see the kids getting hurt,” the letter said. “This isn’t a reserve. Go back to the reserve where Indians belong!”

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Anderson said her daughter has been so frightened by the letter, she won’t go outside and needs to be driven to and from school every day. She said the family hasn’t even shown their 10-year-old son the letter because “it would just rip him apart.”

“I don’t want things to escalate,” Anderson said. “I don’t want something to happen to my kids… I don’t want to take that chance.

“My job as a parent is to protect my children.”

Anderson reported the letter to the RCMP and police confirmed to Global News that they are investigating.

“I could understand if my kids were out all hours of the night [and] causing a ruckus in the neighbourhood but I mean, they’re outside, playing basketball, scootering… rollerblading… kids being kids.

“I’m disgusted… I’m still in shock.”

But Anderson said other people in her neighbourhood have offered their support since hearing about what happened, some even wanting to put on a block party to show support for her family.

“It’s good to know there are good people out there,” Anderson said.

Cathy Heron is the mayor of St. Albert and saw the letter on Facebook.

“I was really upset,” she said. “As a resident and a human, I find it [the letter] repulsive.

“As the mayor of the city that I’m quite proud of, [I’m very] embarrassed because that is not who St. Albert is. St. Albert prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive community.”

Heron said, however, the “response from St. Albert residents is overwhelmingly supportive.”

The mayor said she has also reached out to Anderson on social media to tell her that this type of behavior “is not the norm” in St. Albert and to see how the city could support her.

“It was kind of a hug through cyberspace.”

Watch below: After a family in the St. Albert community of Grandin received a racist, threatening letter in the mail, community members took steps to show them support on Wednesday night.

Premier Rachel Notley took to Twitter late Wednesday afternoon to condemn the letter.

“The attack on this family is beyond upsetting,” Notley tweeted. “As I’ve said before, there’s no place for racism in Alberta.

“I’m glad the RCMP is reviewing it and so happy to hear other members of the community are coming together to show they don’t stand with this bigotry.”

Global News reached out to the condo board in charge of the complex where Anderson and her family live but did not receive a response.

A representative for the condo management firm in charge of the complex, KDM Management Inc., said they received a copy of the letter but “the quality is very poor and not legible for us to read.” They said they couldn’t address the situation since the letter was not signed.

“The board for the corporation is aware of the issue and I believe there has been some discussion regarding this circumstance,” the firm said. “Should we be able to confirm the identity of the sender, the board (I believe) will take possible action.”

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Anderson said that while she has no way of knowing if the letter is related, the family experienced a frightening incident at their St. Albert home last month as well.

“It was about four in the morning and we were sleeping and all of a sudden we hear this big crash downstairs,” she said. “My dogs go crazy and we come downstairs and there was a rock thrown through our window right beside our door.

“It was scary. My kids were crying.”

Anderson said her husband is in shock and disbelief over the letter and believes the family needs to move right away, so they are already packing their things.

“He’s saddened by it,” she said, pointing out her husband is white. “He’s seen racism before, being with me.”

Anderson said she has a message for whomever sent her family the hateful letter.

“I feel sorry for you,” she said. “That you think that, that you believe that… that you’re that hurtful.”

On Wednesday night, members of the community came together to show support for the family.

–With files from Global News’ Sarah Kraus

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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