Ontario’s former regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations says leadership in the Thunder Bay region needs to “step the hell up and do something” after an Indigenous man was attacked at a bus station.
Isadore Day took to social media to express his outrage over the latest incident of violence in the city where pictures posted on social media on Wednesday night showed an Indigenous man lying on the ground with a bloodied face.
The post alleged he “minding his own business” outside the Water Street bus terminal when a non-Indigenous person walked up to him and punched him.
Thunder Bay Police say they are investigating.
Day posted his own response to the “violent attack” on his Facebook page.
“This certainly is an unfortunate display of how bad things are” wrote Day who was planning to send his response to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott.
“Leadership need to step the hell up and do something – this man has a right to safety, dignity and a right to justice!!!” Day wrote.
Day said a number of months ago when he was still the Ontario regional chief he tried to step in to help out on these types of matters but “was gagged and told not to speak on matters; and that the catchment political voices would address these issues.”
Day, who tagged Bennett and Philpott in the post wrote “First Nation people in Thunder Bay and other gateway communities that face this #Racism and #ManifestHate, are being socially mutilated and abused – this racism is rampant and this must end!”
Day is calling for the First Nation, municipal, provincial and federal governments to convene a public meeting on racism in Thunder Bay.
“This shit has to end – it will only end with when people stand up, step up and sometimes shut up and let the right people talk!” wrote Day who felt it was premature to speak more about his post.
Last week, another video surfaced online showing a young man punching a woman in the face and her falling to the ground.
Thunder Bay Police say the 52-year-old male victim was transported to the hospital for medical attention. Investigators say they are speaking to witness and following up this investigation.
The City of Thunder Bay is condemning the violence.
In a statement, the Mayor says “we are deeply saddened by an incident of violence that occurred Wednesday evening in the Water Street area. As a City, we condemn hate-motivated crimes and discriminatory attitudes.