Former AFN regional chief says latest incident of racism in Thunder Bay needs a response

Ontario’s former regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations says leadership in the Thunder Bay region needs to “step the hell up and do something” after an Indigenous man was attacked at a bus station. 

Dennis WardAPTN NewsOntario’s former regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations says leadership in the Thunder Bay region needs to “step the hell up and do something” after an Indigenous man was attacked at a bus station.Isadore Day took to social media to express his outrage over the latest incident of violence in the city where pictures posted on social media on Wednesday night showed an Indigenous man lying on the ground with a bloodied face.The post alleged he “minding his own business” outside the Water Street bus terminal when a non-Indigenous person walked up to him and punched him.Thunder Bay Police say they are investigating.Day posted his own response to the “violent attack” on his Facebook page.“This certainly is an unfortunate display of how bad things are” wrote Day who was planning to send his response to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott.“Leadership need to step the hell up and do something – this man has a right to safety, dignity and a right to justice!!!” Day wrote.Day said a number of months ago when he was still the Ontario regional chief he tried to step in to help out on these types of matters but “was gagged and told not to speak on matters; and that the catchment political voices would address these issues.”Day, who tagged Bennett and Philpott in the post wrote “First Nation people in Thunder Bay and other gateway communities that face this #Racism and #ManifestHate, are being socially mutilated and abused – this racism is rampant and this must end!”Day is calling for the First Nation, municipal, provincial and federal governments to convene a public meeting on racism in Thunder Bay.“This shit has to end – it will only end with when people stand up, step up and sometimes shut up and let the right people talk!” wrote Day who felt it was premature to speak more about his post.Last week, another video surfaced online showing a young man punching a woman in the face and her falling to the ground.Thunder Bay Police say the 52-year-old male victim was transported to the hospital for medical attention. Investigators say they are speaking to witness and following up this investigation.The City of Thunder Bay is condemning the violence.In a statement, the Mayor says “we are deeply saddened by an incident of violence that occurred Wednesday evening in the Water Street area. As a City, we condemn hate-motivated crimes and discriminatory attitudes.

Host/Producer - Winnipeg

Dennis is Metis from southern Manitoba. After spending a decade working in TV in Alberta and Ontario, Dennis returned to Manitoba to join APTN’s Winnipeg bureau as reporter/correspondent in September 2014. In 2016, he won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for his story A Soldier Scorned for APTN Investigates. In 2017, he became a host/producer for APTN National News and Face to Face. In 2020, Dennis and co host Melissa Ridgen were nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best News Anchor, National.


10 thoughts on “Former AFN regional chief says latest incident of racism in Thunder Bay needs a response

  1. Do tell more about being gagged. Racist attacks happen because they can do, Hiding this stuff kills people.

  2. Do tell more about being gagged. Racist attacks happen because they can do, Hiding this stuff kills people.

  3. Tbh I don’t think this was a racist/hate crime. Maybe I’m wrong but I knew this guy years ago and all his gf’s were basically native and he had lots of Native guy friends. Maybe he was provoked idk I wasn’t there. But if he somehow decided on being racist after all these years who knows. But I’m native myself and tbh I think most times ppl use the race card just because it was a non-native who caught a native. But if Jimmie had turned racist then he should pay for this accordingly.
    I lived a lot of years in Thunder Bay and not once has anyone ever showed hate because I’m Native. It just in how you portray yourself. Tbh I was picked on by natives and the non natives welcomed me.
    But like I said if in fact he is guilty for being racist then let’s hope justice is served either way

  4. Tbh I don’t think this was a racist/hate crime. Maybe I’m wrong but I knew this guy years ago and all his gf’s were basically native and he had lots of Native guy friends. Maybe he was provoked idk I wasn’t there. But if he somehow decided on being racist after all these years who knows. But I’m native myself and tbh I think most times ppl use the race card just because it was a non-native who caught a native. But if Jimmie had turned racist then he should pay for this accordingly.
    I lived a lot of years in Thunder Bay and not once has anyone ever showed hate because I’m Native. It just in how you portray yourself. Tbh I was picked on by natives and the non natives welcomed me.
    But like I said if in fact he is guilty for being racist then let’s hope justice is served either way

  5. I am non-Indigenous living in urban southern Ontario and am deeply offended by this unjustifiable violence. Is there anything that those of us who are remote to the situation can do to help??

    1. The best thing you can do is to learn your own history, on why your family left the home country, what made it seem so oppressive and why they came here. Also re-establish community and kinship with all your blood relations and when you speak introduce where you are from (eg. London, ON), who your parents are whenever you share your views and opinions, become part of the earth and land where you live today. Respect what is here still, and see the beauty in it and don’t lament that what was destroyed for it will never come back.
      This is the only real control you have to change what’s inside and not worry about what others do.

  6. I am non-Indigenous living in urban southern Ontario and am deeply offended by this unjustifiable violence. Is there anything that those of us who are remote to the situation can do to help??

    1. The best thing you can do is to learn your own history, on why your family left the home country, what made it seem so oppressive and why they came here. Also re-establish community and kinship with all your blood relations and when you speak introduce where you are from (eg. London, ON), who your parents are whenever you share your views and opinions, become part of the earth and land where you live today. Respect what is here still, and see the beauty in it and don’t lament that what was destroyed for it will never come back.
      This is the only real control you have to change what’s inside and not worry about what others do.

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