THUNDER BAY – “This cowardly attack is evidence of the racism that pervades Canada, but we don’t believe that the perpetrators are representative of most Canadians. We offer our support to this woman and her family and ask all our citizens to respect her wish that we do not resort to violence or vengeance,” states Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee.
The Grand Council Chief urges all Anishinabek Nation citizens to keep themselves out of harm’s way, remain calm, and resist any temptation to resort to violence in the wake of a savage attack on a First Nations woman in Thunder Bay.
Information on the incident was shared at the Idle No More rally held Sunday at Fort William First Nation. Both Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins and Joyce Hunter the spokesperson for Idle No More Thunder Bay spoke out to the crowd on the incident.
Chief Collins stated that the attack is a hate crime. The woman who was attacked has reported that her attackers told her this ‘was not the first time they had committed this type of crime and added, ‘it wouldn’t be the last’. They also told her ‘You Indians deserve to lose your treaty rights’.
“First Nations have stepped up our efforts to demand action by the Crown in Canada to honour our constitutionally-protected treaty and inherent rights, and this can cause anger among those who don’t want us to succeed in achieving our rightful place in the Canadian confederation,” commented Madahabee.
“Let us remain calm and keep ourselves safe as we continue to focus our efforts on creating a better future for our families and communities,” added the Grand Council Chief.
Speaking on behalf of the 39 member communities of the Anishinabek Nation, the Grand Council Chief invited all Canadians to join First Nations in resisting what he called a “legislative assault” by the Harper government. “We need to raise our collective voices and send a clear message to the Harper government that they were not elected to undermine treaty rights, abandon protection of our environment, or sell our natural resources to the highest foreign bidders”.
Thunder Bay Police have not issued a formal statement on the incident. The only references to a sexual assaults on the Crime Map are of two incidents. One in the 100 Block of Simpson Street and another in the 100 block of Blutcher Ave.
Background on Incident:
Idle No More states, “On Thursday evening Angela Smith (not her real name to protect her identity) was walking to a store in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Two Caucasian men pulled their car up along side her as she walked on the sidewalk and began issuing racial slurs while throwing items at her from the car. When she continued to walk, the car stopped and the passenger of the vehicle got out of the car and grabbed the woman by her hair and forced her into the back of the car where she was held her down in the back seat by one of them and driven out of the city.