NEWS

Facebook Page Targeting Winnipeg Aboriginals Pulled Down

04/01/2015 10:39 EDT | Updated 06/01/2015 05:59 EDT
A Facebook page that attacked aboriginal people in Winnipeg and re-ignited the racism debate in the city, has been pulled down.

The page, called "Aboriginals Need to get a job and stop using our tax dollars," claimed support for Kelvin High School teacher Brad Badiuk who was suspended in January after making racist comments on his own Facebook page.

The page was created in December — the same month Badiuk's posting was made. Before disappearing on Wednesday, the page had close to 5,000 members and was filled with negative comments about aboriginal people.

Robert Sinclair, an aboriginal man, who came across the page on Tuesday, called it a hate crime and hopes the people behind it are held accountable.

"Knowing the fact that people [were] looking at and supporting it, it doesn't say a great deal of positive outlook for the way that Winnipeg is directing themselves," he said.

Just before it was pulled down, the page started getting a lot of posts critical of it, with at least one person calling the administrators "racist a—holes." 

A new Facebook page called Protest against "Aboriginals Need to get a job and stop using our tax dollars" started in response and was applauding the removal of the racist page.

'Inspiring, important moment'

One aboriginal leader says he's not angry by the page, but rather inspired by the opportunities it presents.

Niigaan Sinclair, who teaches indigenous literature, culture, history and politics at the University of Manitoba, said it used to be that no one talked about racism, that it was swept under the rug.

Now, people talk about racism and relationships every day, and that is the only way to make things better.

"I actually think this is a really inspiring important moment," he told CBC News on Wednesday, adding he wants people to talk about what it means to be a meaningful citizen in this city.


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