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Advocate Chevi Rabbit: seize the opportunities inclusivity brings


Inclusive dollars are a burgeoning force that offers a unique opportunity for our community to flourish. We’re at the precipice of attracting diverse businesses, including those that wholeheartedly embrace LGBTQ+ inclusion, positioning rural Alberta as a significant player in this economic transformation. However, the significance of this evolution extends beyond LGBTQ+ issues; it mirrors the broader dynamics of business competition and the evolving social fabric.

As our nation undergoes a remarkable transformation towards greater diversity and inclusivity, a resounding paradigm shift is underway. The once-venerable establishments, rooted in less accepting ideologies, are finding themselves at odds with the contemporary zeitgeist. It’s understandable that this demographic may respond with resistance, tethered to the values of a bygone era.

In contrast, a vibrant, youthful, and diverse population is on the ascendancy. They champion the cause of safe spaces, be it for shopping, conducting business, pursuing education, or building their lives. What they desire are forward-looking, dynamic communities where every individual, regardless of their background or identity, can not just survive, but truly thrive.

Speaking from my vantage point as a member of this burgeoning generation, as someone deeply rooted in this community, I can attest that Central Alberta is undergoing a transformation into a safe and inclusive haven. Hate based on sexual orientation or Indigenous heritage is increasingly relegated to the annals of history. While my upbringing shielded me from LGBTQ+ and Indigenous hate, adulthood has opened my eyes to the persistent challenges faced by others.

As an journalist and advocate, I remain committed to forging a path towards safe and inclusive spaces. These encompass shopping destinations, dignified places to age gracefully, inclusive havens for worship, and vibrant, accepting communities. Our vision is unequivocal: we are sculpting a Central Alberta where everyone, regardless of their background or identity, can not only survive but truly thrive. The struggle isn’t merely a clash of old versus new perspectives; it embodies the ever-evolving and inclusive spirit of our community. Together, we continue to craft a radiant future for Central Alberta.

In addition, I firmly believe in the profound shared history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our community. Our journey together has epitomized the strength of unity and the power of understanding. Are we prefect? no community is but we have hope for a safe, diverse and inclusive future.

Taking a broader perspective, it is essential to acknowledge the promising emergence of a diverse LGBTQ+ population within our region. I am personally invested in advocating for this burgeoning group, recognizing their potential to shape the trajectory of our community. They are poised to leave an indelible mark on all sectors over the next decade.

From a pragmatic business standpoint, it is clear that our town possesses the strategic position to welcome and harness the potential of these inclusive dollars set to flow in over the next decade. As Alberta continues to grow and diversify, we have the opportunity not merely to embrace change but to seize the opportunities it brings. In doing so, we can contribute to the prosperity and inclusivity of Central Alberta for generations to come.

Plus, I love my small town, and Montana First Nation.

Chevi Rabbit is a local journalist and advocate for LGBTQ+ and Indigenous rights. She grew up in Ponoka and is a member of Montana First Nation.