Stereotypical views that Indigenous men are drunks is unacceptable
“MKO has received several complaints about the ongoing mistreatment of First Nations citizens when they are attempting to shop at the Thompson Walmart,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “
In recent days several members from the Indigenous community have made complaints about racial profiling at Thompson Walmart location. In one instance, a First Nations man, who never uses alcohol, was told he cannot come into the store because he looks like someone who has been drinking.
Thompson is a hub for Indigenous communities in Northern Manitoba. A peaceful protest was held yesterday to raise awareness of the concerns happening with Walmart. First Nations citizens from across Northern Manitoba spend significant amounts of money at the Walmart in Thompson.
“Walmart, and Impact Security, should take steps to ensure it is a welcoming space where First Nations citizens from all communities can obtain their supplies in a way that they feel respected,” stated Grand Chief Settee. “Indigenous peoples should not have to worry about being accused of being intoxicated when they are simply at the store to carry out their shopping.”
MKO has sent a letter to Walmart to request a meeting to engage in a solutions-based dialogue about the corporation’s plans to improve the quality of service First Nations citizens can expect to receive. MKO’s goal is to impact immediate customer service improvements so that when citizens are travelling to Thompson to access goods not available on reserve or in the community of residence that there be overall compliance to satisfactory customer service.
We contacted the Walmart Thompson located and the co-general manager directed our inquires to the corporate office who issued the following generic statement.
“Respect is a core value at Walmart Canada and we do not condone any behaviour which contradicts this value, including racism and discrimination. Walmart is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our associates and our customers. Celebrating diversity and fostering inclusivity is an integral part of the Walmart culture and we are proud to reflect the diverse communities we serve through our associates.” Walmart
Impact Security did not respond to our request for a comment.