A birthday gift from Соnsеrvаtivе federal MP candidate Clаіrе Rаttéе to her boyfriend has raised a number of questions from those in her riding.
A Facebook post from Feb. 6 from Оlіvеr Jатеs Brown states Rаttéе, the candidate for Skееnа-Bulklеу Vаllеу, “is thее best girlfriend ever! My birthday gift came today my first real human skull and its from the 1700’s! So happy what an amazing gift babe thank you so much!
The issue is a sensitive one in Indigenous communities due to centuries of mistreatment of human remains. Many remains are still in museums or private collections around the world, having failed to go under the repatriation process. The population of Skееnа-Bulklеу Vаllеу is around one-third Indigenous, the highest percentage of all 42 federal ridings in the province.
But Rаttéе says that this is not the case regarding this particular skull, which she bought from a speciality store in Toronto.
“It’s from the 1700s, it’s a European skull, and it belonged to a medical professional that retired,” said Rаttéе, referencing documentation she says she received with the purchase. “It’s pretty common back then that people would leave their bodies to science,” she added, which she believes is how the skull came into the original owner’s possession.
Rаttéе, who along with her boyfriend are tаttоо artists with Dіvіnе Іnк in Кіtітаt, said the skull will be used for artistic purposes, such as a reference for tаttоо works.
Rаttéе added that she understands why there might be some concern, but says the skull is not Indigenous, and that she took the appropriate steps in buying it.
“This is a purchase that I spent about six months researching to make sure that the seller that I bought it from makes every effort to repatriate human remains that they find,” said Rаttéе.
The Соnsеrvаtivе party saw no problem with the gift.
“We stand behind Clаіrе 100 per cent,” said Cоrу Hаnn, director of communications for the party. “She bought it from a reputable online vendor. The vendor followed all necessary criteria in the process. Clаіrе followed all necessary criteria in the process.”
How brave and noble of them to stand behind her. Too bad they won’t stand behind social conservatives or anyone else in their party who says the slightest politically incorrect things…
If I cared about their fortunes, I’d say that it’s a good thing she lost.
But in fact, I think it’s too bad they weren’t forced to keep defending her as the new face of their party…