ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (September 20, 2018) — Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare is deeply disturbed after learning of the violent incident that occurred at a Manitoulin Secondary School that stemmed from racism.
“I am in disbelief that our First Nation students are still the target for racism and violence while attending school in this day and age. This is unacceptable,” says Grand Council Chief Hare. “We have lived and continue to live with the legacy of the residential school era. It is truly shameful and disheartening that the education system in Canada and in Ontario continues to be dysfunctional when they ought to be the leaders for respectful understanding and change for benefit of all students, families, and communities. It appears as though there are still some fundamental flaws and issues in this era of reconciliation when our youth are the target of racism in a place where they should feel safe.”
A violent altercation between a large group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students occurred at the Manitoulin Secondary School (which is overseen by the Rainbow District School Board) resulting in five charges being laid solely on First Nation students by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Grand Council Chief Hare continues to believe that education is key in combatting racism.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: education is crucial to counter ignorance. Racism stems from ignorance—from the unknown. We need to educate our First Nation and non-Indigenous youth alike so they grow up to be educated and respectful adults that break the cycle where prejudice and racism is perpetuated. If we teach them from a young age, they will instill values in their families and the next seven generations will be aligned with our Seven Grandfather Teachings.”
M’Chigeeng First Nation will be holding a rally to address the issue of racism in a positive and constructive manner at the M’Chigeeng First Nation Administration Office on September 20, 2018, and will commence at 9:30 a.m. Grand Council Chief Glen Hare will be in attendance.
“I stand in support of Ogimaa Kwe Linda Debassige, her Council and the community as a show of our intolerance of racism in every form—especially that directed at our children,” expresses Grand Council Chief Hare. “The Anishinabek Nation demands that all school boards, in particular, the Rainbow District School Board, take immediate measures to commit to make their schools the safest place in every way for all children. Our world today demands no less.”
The Anishinabek Nation is the political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 60,000 people. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.