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Indigenous man cuts off braids in symbolic protest against southwest Calgary ring road

CA, 02 Oct 2020
Seth Cardinal Dodginghorse took the podium during the press-conference opening the newest portion of the southwest Calgary ring road protesting the decision to take his family’s land, forcing them to move, as part of the massive project.

“People are going to be driving on my family’s home,” Dodginhorse said, before reading a letter written by his mother describing the sting of losing her ancestral home.

“I will always do my best to make sure that the legacy of this involves my family's story and that the women, my grandmothers that came from that land, that their stories are also known,” Dodginghorse said. “Today is not a good day.”

He ended with a powerful symbolic gesture, cutting his long brown braids and stating “with this I leave a piece of me with the road.”

Tsuut’ina Chief Roy Whitney, who was on hand as the 12-kilometre section of Tsuut’ina Trail opened on Thursday, reacted directly to his protest, saying “there’s a time and place for everything and this is not the time and place.”
He said the majority of the Tsuut’ina Nation voted in favour of the project.

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