First Nations Leadership Outraged by Lack of Empathy and Racist Behaviour Towards First Nations Evacuees
October 15, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba_ First Nations leadership are expressing their outrage at the reports of First Nations evacuees experiencing racist behaviour during this difficult and stressful time.
Reports have been shared about evacuees from various locations across Manitoba, including online, about how they have encountered racism when purchasing fuel at gas stations, buying food, emergency supplies, and purchasing generators. Hotels have turned away evacuees when there are obvious vacancies, which leadership says is discriminatory and completely unacceptable.
Evacuees have been directed to lodging in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Dauphin where there are numerous reports of racist and unacceptable behaviour from staff and management including disparaging remarks, prioritizing non-Indigenous customers, and in some instances, hotels shutting down pool access.
Chief Cornell McLean of Lake Manitoba First Nation, one of the hardest hit communities, said, “I don’t want to believe the reports, but they are confirmed reports and it is so sad that our communities continue to experience racism especially during an unprecedented weather event like this winter storm. I am also encouraged that our own organizations are stepping up to support our evacuees such the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) by providing 50 movie passes for families and also providing security at our schools while communities are evacuated.”