Relative to the ongoing Rutland Raider controversy, City Mayor David Allaire recently stated that he "(hadn't) heard any dissent from Indigenous people."

When ethical issues arise before elected officials who have become involved in a clearly-stated situation, it is not the responsibility of the targeted party to address the lack of understanding. That is incumbent upon the official, in the equitable discharge of their civic duties, as municipal non-discrimination and personnel guidelines make clear.

Notwithstanding, there is ample evidence available. Elnu Abenaki and others have stated our position clearly, in both this and equivalent situations. How does one make an informed decision on a question that directly implicates a people without consulting them? The lack of intentional communication begins to appear willful.

We did not create this controversy, but we are directly affected by it. My letter to the editor was printed in the Rutland Herald two weeks ago. Elnu Abenaki citizen Melody Walker's statement to this exact effect has been shared widely and is easily sourced.

While this topic has been rightly defined as a policy question under the jurisdiction of the school board, it is clear the city itself has become deeply involved, from citizens to aldermen to the Office of the Mayor. If Rutland, as an entity, chooses to make an informed and equitable decision on where, quite literally, it stands in regard to the well-being of the Indigenous people of this land, the answers will become clear. I appreciate the mayor’s, and the Board of Aldermen’s, attention to this. It is hard to see when your eyes are closed.

Wliwni - thank you,

Rich Holschuh

Wantastegok/Brattleboro

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