Walking in the Light – Addressing Racism in Thunder Bay

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Walking in the Light - Seeking to end racism and hate in Thunder Bay
Walking in the Light - Seeking to end racism and hate in Thunder Bay


THUNDER BAY – Darius Ferris, President of the Matawa First Nations Management Board of Directors was pleased to join the Matawa First Nations in hosting an inter-denominational faith event today to address racism in Thunder Bay.

The event, called “Walking in the Light – Addressing Racism in Thunder Bay Guided by Faith,” brought together members of the all faiths in Thunder Bay and First Nations people and leadership from the Matawa communities of Aroland, Constance Lake, Eabametoong, Ginoogaming, Long Lake #58, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie First Nations. It was organized to bring people together in unity, peace and understanding and to begin a discussion on how faith-based values can be part of the solution to societal and system racism that exists in the city of Thunder Bay.

Walking in the Light - Seeking to end racism and hate in Thunder Bay
Walking in the Light – Seeking to end racism and hate in Thunder Bay

“I am pleased that we can bring people of all faiths and walks of life together in the city of Thunder Bay to discuss the current challenge of racism aimed at Indigenous Peoples,” stated Darius Ferris. “Our purpose in hosting the event was to bring awareness and unity. Together, we can make a change and have a positive impact on our future,” he added.

The event began with a Unity Walk starting near the International Friendship Gardens at Victoria Avenue East and Waterloo Streets at 1:00 p.m. and concluded with a Symposium at the Columbus Centre at 301 May Street starting at 3:00 p.m. Speakers at the symposium will include leaders from various faiths/denominations and Professor Walid Chahal, lecturer for the Lakehead University’s Sociology Department. He is also the Co-Chair of Diversity Thunder Bay, an Executive Member of the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association and community advisor for the Thunder Bay Muslim Association. He has written on the root causes of antagonisms and hostilities at the core of racism, how they get reproduced, and why they persist. The symposium included fellowship, prayer and discussion on solutions-based approaches which will be compiled into a consensus document which will be shared as a moving forward tool.