CANADAS RACIAL PROFILING, A GIANT STEP BACKWARDS
It was just a field trip to the Thunder Bay Police Service Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, and Aboriginal school from Thunder Bay, was conducting. The November 7th field trip was a part of their transitional training into mainstream Canadian society. The purpose was to teach them where to go if they needed assistance and help once they were away from tribal life.The lesson students learned was way more then they bargained for since one of their own was pulled from the ranks forced to disrobe and was interrogated.
Abraham Miles 17, was from the Fort Severn First Nation Reserve located along the shores of Hudson Bay. He was wearing a shirt manufactured by Warchief Native Apparel depicting a Native chief in full headdress. The shirt like other Native designed cloths were designed to instill Native pride, unity and positivity. In short, it was simply a shirt with a Native theme imprinted on the front. The clothing manufacturer was based in Abe’s home town and the pride of that Aboriginal community, such irony.
While the students were touring the Police Service headquarters and observant officer yanked the surprised student from the ranks of his peers and forced him to remove the shirt. Then without the presents of an adult he was removed to a room where he was interrogated about gang activity. Then the police took mug shots of this innocent student whose crime was wearing a shirt a cop did not like.This was a classic example of Canada’s policy of racial profiling to say the least.
According to Grand Chief Stan Beardy of the Nishnawabe Aski Nation, “The truth is, he was out here by himself, 500 miles from home. English is his second language. If that young man, 17 years old, tried to make reason with a six-foot policeman that weighs 300 pounds, what are his chances of being heard?”
Further, Chief Beardy said, “We try to portray ourselves in a positive manner with our own art and our own artists. But instead, they just took him aside and said, You know, you’re a Native person, the T-shirt says war chief, so it has to be gang-related.” The very notion a student would be subjugated for identifying with his Native Roots is simply appalling to say the very least. This is a classic example of this cancer that has spread across the United States and Canada in the form of racial profiling. Fact is, it tosses Canada back into the Dark Ages as it revels the second agenda of hate that still exists.
They learned a valuable lesson though. Sadly they learned that racial hatred is alive and well and they can’t trust the authorities or society whence they leave the sanctuary of their reserve. And people wonder why kids self medicate with booze and drugs. They learned more then school officials bargained for. They learned the reason why sorrow and futility are the norm in Native society. Society tells Natives that it is time to forgive the wrongs of the past.
And I contend “How can we forgive when we are still under siege?”
Your Devil’s Advocate