I still feel pretty messed up over this whole issue. Raymond Yellowknee, the man responsible for the death of my sister and her children, is dead. Apparently he has committed suicide in prison. God rest his soul. I am overwhelmed, saddened, angry, shocked, and disappointed by this turn of events. As awful as I feel though, I just have this tremendous compassion for his mother right now….what that poor woman has gone through. None of this is her fault, as we are not truly responsible for what our children do after they leave home. We teach them the best we can, and then we let them go. It is the way of life. She pleaded her son’s case throughout the trial, asking for understanding that never did come, although I seriously cannot say that I agreed, and I am perfectly within my right not to, but she did what mother’s do for their children, and that I can understand. I am praying for her and the rest of their family as I know they are suffering.
Throughout this ordeal I have always maintained that being Native has NOTHING to do with this situation. I am still upset that he was not declared a dangerous offender. I believe that what he has done warranted that sort of designation. Over 70 convictions and the fact that he has had previous offences for DUI should have weighed in more when the judge made his decison. I also believe that the judge may have been swayed by the fact that ONE day before the sentencing (June 12, 2008) Stephen Harper (on behalf of the Crown & Canadian Goverment) apologized to the Native people of Canada for their assimilation practices and mistreatment of Native people in residential schools. I mean, seriously, it has been 500 years people! That sentence had to come ONE DAY after an apology that took 500 years? How ironic! I believe it seriously hurt the possibility of the judge designating Raymond Yellowknee a dangerous offender. Yellowknee was Native and the outcry from Native groups all over Canada would surely have drowned out the cry of justice. It does not matter that Misty and her girls were also Native. What would have mattered is that it was a Native person who was the first to be labelled a dangerous offender. I can see why the judge was hesitant to label Yellowknee this way, as I certainly would not have wanted to be in the middle of that political maelstrom!
I refuse to think that it does not matter, I refuse to think that!! It was not a waste, and it did matter! It matters to a lot of people! It has hurt a lot of people, and it will stay with us all for the rest of our lives. These tragic events are ours to bear and I have absolutely no wish to carry on the hurt with needless bitterness or anger. I choose forgiveness, and know that Misty would be proud. I just hope that no-one out there has to go through the tragedy we have. I hope whoever reads this understands that drinking and driving DO NOT MIX!! One time is all it takes to ruin yours and other peoples’ lives, and for what? It is just not worth the risk; so don’t risk everything by doing it. Please.