Mi’kmaq artist says he was carded by RCMP after leaving PM Trudeau’s swearing-in ceremony

RCMP officers were looking for ‘suspicious Native man’

(A selfie taken by Mi’kmaq artist Thomas Clair Wednesday after he said he was carded by the RCMP. Facebook)

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
OTTAWA—A Mi’kmaq artist said he was carded by RCMP officers who claimed they were looking for a “suspicious Native man” after he left the grounds of Rideau Hall after watching the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Thomas Clair said he crossed Sussex Dr. after leaving the Rideau Hall grounds and was passing by the front entrance of the official resident of the prime minister when an RCMP officer stopped him.

“It was kind of weird actually. I felt funny about it,” said Clair, 53.

He said an RCMP officer approached him and asked him for identification. Clair said he asked the officer why he needed to see identification and at that point two more officers showed up around him.

“I asked, ‘Why? What was wrong?’ They said they had seen a suspicious Native man leaving the grounds,” said Clair.

The officers told Clair they had the name of the man. Clair asked him if the suspicious man’s name was Thomas, but the officers said no.

“The officer told me that it was not racial profiling if that’s what I was getting at,” said Clair.

The multi-discipline Mi’kmaq artist said he then showed the officers his ID because he didn’t want the hassle of getting arrested.

“I wanted to go home,” said Clair. “I was the only Native man in that area (on the street).”

A photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taken by Thomas Clair before Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony. Facebook
A photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taken by Thomas Clair before Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony. Facebook

Clair said he found the experience odd given that he just left the swearing-in of a prime minister and his cabinet that have promised a new Canada. He even took a photo of Trudeau as the prime minister-designate walked by on the way to the swearing-in.

“I was feeling pretty happy about Canada and Aboriginal people working together with our new prime minister,” he said.

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7 thoughts on “Mi’kmaq artist says he was carded by RCMP after leaving PM Trudeau’s swearing-in ceremony

  1. I see this man all the time! Ive never had the pleasure of introducing myself but as we are both native Canadians i will surely next time. .. please stop the racial exploitation of our people.

  2. How unnerving for him, and how disappointing in general!

    I hope someone sends this story to the Prime Minister.

    And I wonder if it’s worth laying a complaint about, or finding a way of finding out what the RCMP officers thought was “suspicious” about whatever “native man” they were supposedly looking for?

    Or did a racist white person report to the RCMP that they’d seen a Native man who seemed “suspicious”, and so the RCMP were following through on that?

    Darn!!

  3. I WAS THERE AND I AM FROM ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATIONS LIVING IN OTTAWA, STOP THE NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA, I SAW FIRST NATIONS FROM QUEBEC AND ONTARIO , WE HAD REPRESENTATION !!!!

  4. my name is wilbert wesley from attawapiskat first nations living in Ottawa i was there as well in my native gifts , you were not the only one, i also saw other first nation from Quebec and ontario ! LIAR !!!! DON’T START PROPAGANDA !!!! HATER !

    1. Chill out, he didn’t say he was the only Native man at the swearing in, he said he was the only Native man in the vicinity when the RCMP stopped him and requested ID as he was leaving the swearing in off the parliament grounds.

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