Hundreds stand behind St. Albert family who received racist, threatening letter

A St. Albert family that found a racist letter in their mailbox earlier this month has learned they have the support of their community.

'This is a community that embraces differences and that calls out racism and hatred,' MLA says

A line of people waited to offer words of support to Katrina Anderson and her family at Sunday's block party. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

A St. Albert family who found a racist letter in their mailbox earlier this month has learned the community has their backs.

About 200 people showed up to a block party for the family Sunday afternoon at St. Albert's Grain Elevator Park.

Katrina Anderson was disgusted when her 12-year-old daughter found a threatening letter from neighbours on Oct. 15, delivered to their home in Grandin Woods Estates.

"Move out or things will escalate," the anonymous letter said. "Would not want to see the kids getting hurt. This isn't a reserve. Go back to the reserve where Indians belong."

Hundreds of community members came out to the block party on Sunday. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Anderson reported the letter to police. She still doesn't know who wrote the hateful words but she said she forgives them.

"I don't really want the person that did write the letter to be publicly shamed," she said. "I just hope that they learn something from this."

Since finding the letter, the family has received many others, but they're letters of support.

"It's so overwhelming," Anderson said, noting people have also sent kind messages over Facebook. "It's hard to take in all the love."

Anderson said she's grateful for the community support and is proud to be from St. Albert. The family will stay in the city, but has decided to move to another neighbourhood to keep the children safe.

'Community that embraces differences'

Katrina Anderson says several community members have sent her kind messages after hearing about the racist letter her family received. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Kevin Malinowski, one of the organizers for Sunday's block party, said he wanted to make it clear that racism is unacceptable in the city of St. Albert.

"We've had nothing but an outpouring of love from the citizens of the community," he said.

The goal of Sunday's event was to support Anderson's family, along with other community members who have experienced racism, Malinowski said.

"There's bigger problems in our world than worrying about where this person was born, where they came from, their background," he said.

Marie Renaud, member of the legislative assembly for St. Albert, said she came out to the block party to demonstrate the city's values.

"This is a community that embraces differences and that calls out racism and hatred every single time," she said.

"It welcomes diversity. It doesn't matter what you look like, what colour you are, who you love, whether you have a disability. It just doesn't matter."