City Announces Inquest Recommendation Responses

Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 13:26 PM
An emotional night as the city announced how it'll respond to the recommendations from the inquest into the deaths of 7 Indigenous youth.  

That includes setting up enhanced cultural sensitivity training, and connecting youth from remote communities with local young people to help them get familiar with the city. 

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum says it's disturbing that all levels of government seemed to resist holding the inquest.


Achneepineskum says it's crucial to take the recommendations seriously and work together on making them a reality, adding officials shouldn't necessarily limit themselves to the suggestions in the report.  

For example, she says, the Indigenous community would appreciate the city officially speaking out against any racist incidents.  Achneepineskum says currently, many Indigenous people don't feel comfortable reporting these issues to the city.  

The steps the city has already taken include asking for federal funding for a safety and crime reduction program for youth. It's investing $1.35 million to create programs for young people over the next five years.  

It also supports creating a Student Living Centre for Dennis Franklin Cromarty students, which Vice Principal Sharon Angeconeb emphasizes is very much needed.  

With boarding homes scattered across the city, Angeconeb says some students have to ride the bus for 2 hours each way, which effectively cuts them off from after-school activities.  

Transportation is an obstacle for many DFC students; Vice Principal Jenny Pert-Wesley recalls how one student told her he never wanted to use city transit again after he was repeatedly confronted about his bus pass.  Pert-Wesley says she's glad to hear city officials say that things are going to change.  

City Clerk John Hannam says the Aboriginal Liaison Office has promised to meet with Thunder Bay Transit and a number of other partners. (Staff Photo)