THE Police Services Board was set up to focus on the operations of the police force in the city Thunder Bay and it is not an aboriginal organization. It seems to be slowly turning into a finger-pointing blame game for individual interests. All city interests need to be addressed here.

Aboriginal racism shows when the newest member of the board, a white lawyer supporting some unpopular opinions, but probably the best qualified of the group, was expelled after only a few days.

With all due respect, what do Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler have to do with the Thunder Bay Police Service? Like us in our own community, I’m sure they have enough to deal with at home with regards to crime, drugs, housing and so forth. That is their job and is what they were elected to do by their people.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t work together, but Peter Collins was not elected by the people of Thunder Bay; Bill Mauro was.

Is there any more freedom of expression without being chastised and blamed in some way?

I close with thoughts from Harold R. Johnson’s book — Firewater; How Alcohol is Killing My People (And Yours). Mr. Johnson is Cree. He says “We have to talk about where we are, how we arrived here, and where we hope to go without making excuses and calling ourselves victims. I propose that the only way forward is to take full responsibility for ourselves and our present position and begin to tell a new story about ourselves. There is no easy or soft way of doing that.”

Without a vision, the people perish. I suggest that more than ever, our First Nations people have to stop living in the past and look for greater things in the future.

Eric Harju

Thunder Bay

Recommended for you