Aboriginal news and information is part of our future in the land of The Sleeping Giant

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The Sleeping GiantTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – Over the past month, a few people, through email or by trying to post comments, have suggested that it is somehow wrong that NetNewsledger.com covers news and information about what is happening in First Nation communities, and other items on Aboriginal issues.

One person commented, “Is this now the Native News of the Nothwest (sic)…seems that the majority of what it is you write has to do with native issues…not much white man content.” Another wrote “News Net Ledger or Native Net Ledger? TELL IT HOW IT IS! NEXT COLUMN: Native drug problem in Thunder Bay. Robberies, Purse snatchings and so forth.. Stop Protecting the Natives!”

The fastest growing segment of our population in Thunder Bay is our Aboriginal population. Statistics Canada reports, “There were 10,055 Aboriginal people living in the CMA of Thunder Bay in 2006, making up 8% of the city’s total population”. That number is growing. Statistics Canada reports that by 2031, the Aboriginal population of Thunder Bay is projected to be as large as 15 per cent of the total population of the city.

First off, there is no such thing as “White man content”, and second news reporting is, in our view ‘Following the truth and reporting on the journey’.

Our Crimebeat section reports what has happened in our city based on what the Thunder Bay Police Service are willing to share. Our Crime Mapping section allows you to see the whole situation of crime in our city.

One area that is under-reported in our city are the many success stories that First Nations people are experiencing.

Often across the media the adage that ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ is followed. Calvin Indian, speaking at the Mining your Future conference offered a success story. Calvin shared how he started at the bottom with a mining company and has worked his way upward. He is a success and there are many many others just like him.

NetNewsledger.com is going to make a point of sharing those stories with our readers. The real truth is there are positive and exciting times ahead, and by sharing the positive information we think it will help.

Thunder Bay has a population of about 110,000 in the city. That likely means that there are about 12,000 to 15,000 Aboriginal people living in our city. Now I am sorry if the actions of a few criminals have some people ready to paint all Aboriginal people as criminals, but that is simply unacceptable.

Its time for Thunder Bay to stop accepting the racist tripe that a small minority seem to embrace.

Some in Thunder Bay over recent years have been treating many of our Aboriginal residents with racism, contempt and other subtle bigotry.

Incidents of egging Aboriginal people, the spoons game, the jokes, the racist remarks, are all there for the world to see. Now, just as there are some Aboriginals who commit crimes, there are some others who engage in racism and bigotry.

The real numbers are small, but the ramifications are far greater than the numbers.

Our communities future, just as its past was, is tied to the people. Go out to Fort William Historical Park, there our past was solidly built on a foundation of equality. Our future is tied to the people from across Northern Ontario, many of whom are First Nations peoples.

Those who feel somehow that it is their entitlement to put down others, treat others with contempt, and make our city look bad come in all shades and colours. They are making our city look bad in the eyes of more enlightened residents, fellow Canadians, and the world. What is worse is that their bigotry does nothing toward solving problems, or contributing to the solutions.

If you are looking for your news with a desire to find a site offering news for specific races, or colours of skin, or one that will seek to feed anger, hate and racism, then maybe NetNewsleger.com isn’t your cup of tea. Our approach is balance, fairness and equality, based on visitor numbers, thankfully thousands of others are in agreement.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer