Thunder Bay voted last night and democracy allowed us to speak and I made some observations. First, although Tamara Johnson didn’t get elected she received roughly 7% (10,000 votes) of the vote. I was a bit disappointed, but surprised, not really. I love Thunder Bay, but I know that many people carry the hate, racism and prejudice towards my people that she does and she was and is the epitome of these values. We have to thank her for the fact that we all have a task, there are at least 10 000 people in this City who need a lot of Education about who we are, where we have been and most important, where we are going.
For those who voted for her, they can start with a little bit of Education about us, by learning a little bit about myself. I have an Education; this was not free, as I continue to pay off a large student debt. I pay taxes on my home, my salary and I do not get free dental care, my benefits just informed that I will have to pay half of the recent dental work I had done, yes we go to the dentist. I speak and write English extremely well, but analyze it even better, maybe even better than most, but I don’t use it to spread hate, I much prefer to use it to educate and to provide a life for my family.
A little bit about our people, we are a beautiful culture that has a love for the land like no other, the protection and preservation of it can be learned from many of our elders who at this moment are passing it onto our youth, this will have importance in the future, trust me. The population of Anishinaabe people in this City is growing and will increase dramatically, many coming from the North and surrounding communities and I will say again this is a fact, so trust me. Let me tell you why the Anishinaabe population is increasing, education and employment, both the former and latter will not only create awareness, but empowerment to a generation much different than yesterday or today.
I voted for Keith Hobbs because I believe he sees this and I believe he has the foresight and vision to build those bridges between Native and non-Native, crucial, because we will soon have the power to vote City councillors and mayors into power. If I could speak to Miss Johnson, I would ask her why she has such a dislike for our people or myself and family as I don’t hate or dislike her, but rather wish she could take the time to educate herself and her supporters.
I believe that if she accepted an offer to come sit with my sons and I along the lakes and shores of our traditional territory to take in the fresh air provided to our Ancestors for thousands of years, her views might change. They might change if she took the time to listen to my sons discuss their dreams about playing in the NHL, but they would definitely change if she listened to them talk about their love for Thunder Bay and for their people. She would see that the spread of racism and hate, attempts to strip my sons of their pride of who they are and it attempts to change their views on their love for Thunder Bay.
Finally, I would say to Miss Johnson or her supporters that we not just a good group of people, but we are a very humorous and loving people, thus, I would ask her to be my keemooch (just kidding). So in the future let us make 10 000 votes for racism water under the bridge as we leave those votes behind and look forward. A united city is in view, lets just build some bridges to get there.
A citizen of Thunder Bay.