Keith Russell apologized on Tuesday for comments he made a week ago about the religious beliefs of some aboriginal people in Labrador:
I don’t buy into the mumbo jumbo about the trail leading to the Muskrat Falls site as being sacred ground. You can romanticize and sensationalize that particular piece of land all you want, but it is a resource.
As CBC reported, Russell issued a written statement:
With regards to my recent comment about Muskrat Falls, I apologize for my poor choice of words,
There it is: apology. Job done.
Well… yeah but read a bit more.
Russell had more to say:
As an aboriginal person, I was raised to respect other's beliefs.
That’s the thing that makes the comment all the more bizarre. CBC describes Russell as being of aboriginal descent. Yeah. Your humble e-scribbler has an Inuit ancestor about five generations back in the family tree. That’s someone of aboriginal descent.
Russell describes himself more accurately. After all, he served as a cabinet minister in the Nunatsiavut government. Well, served until he got fired, that is. Surely with that personal history, Russell should have been a bit more clued in to the views of not just his constituents but also his own community.
And evidently it took him a week to figure out that he’d made a poor word choice.
Keith is in no danger of getting a promotion in the upcoming cabinet shuffle.