Thunder Bay …


I am awake, I am alive, and today the journey and the work continues … because it has to, because I live in the city of Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay, Ontario, sitting on the north shore of Lake Superior, a city known for its anti-Indigenous racism, lead by an administration so blind to their privilege that their racism practically oozes out of every word they speak.

And they don’t hear it.

Consistently, our City Council puts dollars before lives and convenience before human decency. When municipalities must evacuate from threatening fires, other towns open their doors. Churches, schools, all are made available to house those effected. But when its Indigenous people and its a reserve in the path of a fire, THIS City issues a statement that we don’t have the infrastructure and services to take in evacuees (or the dollars they bring with them, I assume).

Oh privilege, you are so so ugly!

Funny, how this city use to have a population much greater than it is now. The number of evacuees would bring us nowhere near that. Funny how our City Council can live with themselves.

Indigenous youth, our fallen feathers, drown in local waterways but lighting for the river is too expensive. A million dollar study for a new soccer plex is not.

Time and time again, the racism shows, making one thing blatantly obvious. The “city with the giant heart” slogan had to be abandoned (as it was) because this city doesn’t have a big heart at all! It has a very selective heart, open for non-Indigenous men, women, and children only.

But if you listen to City Council, we don’t even have a racism problem. Why? As mentioned earlier, privilege is blind until you choose to see and Thunder Bay City Council is choosing not to see. They are blatantly choosing willful, racist blindness so the work continues because THIS is not acceptable.

As I work, I again give thanks for the many, many non-Indigenous men and women I have the pleasure of meeting and working with. They are my fuel. They are my hope and yes, some of them live in Thunder Bay. The rest choose not to, for obvious reasons, and I do believe it is time to make that even more obvious …

To that end, today I call on the First Nation leadership of any and all communities. Do not bring your conferences here. Do not school shop here. Do not buy your office supplies here. Shop online. Go to Winnipeg. Go anywhere else but here.

This city cannot keep our children safe nor do they care to try. This city closes its doors to our people in need. It is time to close our bank accounts to them. It is time they feel the pain of their own racism because we are NOT helpless and we are NOT powerless.

It is time to show that power my friends. Thunder Bay has made it clear, they do not deserve our hard-earned dollars. (Allies, feel free to join in as well, just be vocal as to why you are shopping elsewhere. Make it KNOWN!)

It is time my friends, time to make a difference. It is time to force their hand because left to their own devices, all they are is racist and it is UGLY, too ugly for the beautiful north shore of Gitchi Gaming.

The journey continues. Obviously, there is a lot more work to do.

Thank you my friend, thank you.
Thank you for being my hope.



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