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Regina councillor responds to complaint, to ‘set the record straight’

Ward 7 Coun. Terina Shaw said she wanted to set the record straight regarding the questions she asked during a council meeting. Troy Charles / Global Regina

A Regina city councillor sent out a statement after residents called for an apology due to something she had said about the Indigenous community.

Terina Shaw said there needed to be proper context to what she was asking, and that she wanted to “set the record straight.”

Read more: Regina city councillor Terina Shaw facing more complaints from Indigenous leaders

“I want to clarify the discussion regarding questions I posed – not comments made – at a council meeting. The nature of my well-intentioned inquiry has been misappropriated to represent something completely counter to my values on very important issues such as homelessness, poverty, and racism,” said Shaw.

“My actions and long-standing commitments have proven my dedication to seeking improvement around these important issues.”

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An integrity commissioner investigation began looking into the matter, but Shaw claimed the complaint was unfounded, and Florence Stratton, one of the people who submitted the complaint, claimed the commissioner had said it was beyond their jurisdiction.

During the Jan. 26 executive committee meeting, Shaw made comments about Indigenous men.

“I‘ve worked with Indigenous men,” Shaw said. “They’ve lived in my house. I’ve done it for years…. You talked about how they wouldn’t have sexual charges up against them. How can you show to the school board that this person doesn’t have sexual charges?”

The letter says her comments imply Indigenous men are sexual predators.

On June 15, Shaw made another comment about Indigenous Peoples and homelessness. The letter says Shaw’s comment perpetuates the ideas that Indigenous people are one homogenous group who share the same culture and that Indigenous people choose to be homeless and are not interested in having a home.

Read more: Residents look for apology from Regina councillor after filing complaint

The complaint filed against Shaw received 49 public signatures earlier this year.

Shaw said she learned what the impact of her questions could have.

“After meeting with Erica Beaudin and Susana Deranger on September 1, along with Mayor Masters and City Manager Jim Nichol, I learnt how impactful my questions were to people’s feelings.  Susan Deranger, in her kind and empathetic words helped me understand how I can offend a culture and how I need to understand my privilege,” said Shaw.

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“Susan Deranger suggested I take Cross Cultural Training, the training as she stated, ‘Would help you understand how questions you ask can offend a culture although well intended, are not well received, with Cross Cultural Training this will help you respond better.'”

Shaw added that she promised to take the course.

“I want to do better not because I was sanctioned by the Integrity Commissioner but because I need to understand how I can hurt people’s feelings with questions I asked. I never want to ever have my words, questions or actions hurt Indigenous people or any other culture. I only want to help and serve the people.”

Regina city council had voted on a separate integrity commissioner investigation into how Shaw was communicating with her co-workers, which resulted in a 6-2 vote to not implement sanctions on her.

– With files from Matthew Rodrigopulle

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