THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum, on behalf of the Executive Council, offers heartfelt condolences on the passing of Barbara Kentner, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a brutal attack in Thunder Bay earlier this year:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara Kentner of Waabigon Saaga’igan Anishinaabeg (Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation). Our heartfelt condolences to her daughter Serena, family, friends, loved ones, and the community of Wabigoon and Treaty #3. I want to acknowledge the outpouring of support extended to the family in their request for assistance, supports and prayers throughout the last few months and coming days. We all must work together to acknowledge that racism exists. We must combat and report racism. We must take this very seriously. This has been going on for far too long. This is our reality as many Indigenous Peoples, especially our women, have come to me with their stories. It’s very disturbing and frightening. There is an escalation of violence in this city, and we must not minimize these horrible situations. A young Indigenous mother died today, and a young girl is without her mother – this should not happen. What do you say to a young girl that loses her mother? I’m very heartbroken for her and will be supporting the family.”
Kentner, 34, suffered severe internal injuries after being struck by a heavy trailer hitch ball thrown from a moving vehicle on January 29, 2017. Family members have called the attack attempted murder and a hate crime. Thunder Bay Police have charged an 18-year-old in connection with the attack.