Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Terrace city councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller has resigned from her position, saying in a Facebook post she felt unsupported by her colleagues when advocating for Indigenous peoples, youth and women at council.

“It is my personal belief that systemic and internalized racism as well as sexism had played a role in the inability of my colleagues to respect and understand my personal and diverse perspectives,” McCallum-Miller said in a Feb. 22 Facebook post addressed to city officials announcing her resignation, effective immediately.

McCallum-Miller was the youngest and first Indigenous councillor in Terrace’s history. She was first elected to council in 2018 with 883 votes after serving for four years as Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine director for rural Terrace, south coast. She first ran for council in 2014 at the age of 21.

“When attempting a second time to clearly define and express the need for the City of Terrace councillors to partake in localized cultural awareness training with the Tsimshian peoples of this land, it became clear to me how important that training would be,” she said in the Facebook post.

“I felt unheard, I felt spoken over, I questioned whether Truth and Reconciliation was being honoured or was a priority for our community.”

In the post, the outgoing councillor disclosed that she lives with anxiety and depression, and considered taking her own life in March 2020 as a result of her treatment on council.

“I am also an individual who finds healing through my work as an Indigenous artist, and through the practice of my culture as a Gitxsan, Nisga’a, and Tsimshian person,” McCallum-Miller said in the post.

“In order to heal spiritually and further decolonize my life I will be focusing on my sacred work so that I may help heal others one day through cultural practices and tradition.”

Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc said McCallum-Miller challenged the status quo and made council better in a Feb. 22 statement.

“Councillor McCallum-Miller provided an important and distinct perspective on many issues up for consideration at our council meetings,” she said.

“We will miss her honesty, dedication, and thoughtfulness. I would like to thank her for her service to the community and wish her all the best.”

The current term ends in the fall of 2022, so a by-election is required to fill McCallum-Miller’s vacant seat. The City of Terrace will release information on that process in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Terrace council welcomes two new faces


@BenBogstie
ben.bogstie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Residents of Rural Keremeos, Olalla and Hedley are being asked to give feedback for the first Official Community Plan for the area. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Survey on RDOS Area G OCP open until April 30

The area’s first Official Community Plan is in the early stages of development

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Lowering the flags is official protocol following the death of a member of the British Royal Family, according to Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne. (Spotlight photo)
Town flags lowered out of respect for Prince Phillip

The practice follows official protocol when a member of the British Royal Family dies.

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Most Read