THUNDER BAY – OPINION – I want to post a few words about our city and our relationship with our indigenous friends, neighbours, and communities. We are dealing with very sensitive issues In these times as we move forward together. What the city does not need are allegations that incite hatred and divisiveness.
I have asked the Bear Clan about their post claiming the police drove an Indigenous man to the bush, stripped his clothes off and left him there naked. Then they posted that indigenous people be wary of the police. I have asked that they contact the police and provide the proof to such claims. They have not responded and feel it’s okay to simply make serious allegations without proof or evidence.
I have called Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins to inform them of these allegations against our police. They both agreed if that was the case, charges should be laid and an investigation should be started.
You can contact Chief Collins directly and ask him about his opinion on this issue.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler indicated that NAN is no longer involved with the Bear Clan and that students from the college and University, as well as volunteers, now operate the Bear Clan organization.
The Bear Clan started off as a great organization helping our community. The police and city provided support and encouraged them in every way possible. This new leadership and some of its members have taken this caring, civic group and have gone in a different direction.
Everyone is afraid to say anything about situations like this with the Bear Clan, for fear of being labelled a racist.
I know my Indigenous friends, co-workers, leaders would support the truth. Did it actually happen? Or is it false?
We have to call people on their allegations because if we don’t, the racism and divide will only get worse. I love my city and I love all the people who live here including my surrounding neighbours.
We all want to move forward together.
I thank Grand Chief Fiddler and FWFN Chief Collins for their advice and guidance.
I would also invite the Bear Clan members to meet with all of us to discuss issues that they may have in our city and clear up any issues they see as outstanding.
They can contact me or one of the leaders and we will set up a meeting. My number is 807 628-5547.
Councillor at Large, City of Thunder Bay
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