Current Problems

Health (18-24)

Premier’s racist comment

March 23, 2021 – “The member flew in [to] get his vaccine, so thank you for doing that and kind of jumping the line,” Ford said. “I talked to a few chiefs that were pretty upset about that for flying into the community that he doesn’t belong to, but that’s not here nor there.” Premier Doug Ford commenting in the legislature. on March 1. In reality, Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa was invited to “lead by example” by travelling to Sandy Lake First Nation to receive his second vaccination publicly (He got his first for the same reason in Muskrat Dam First Nation). Many Indigenous people are hesitant to get a vaccine from a government that has treated them so poorly and some communities only had 10- to 20-per cent turnout. After his demonstration, Sandy Lake had an increase to 99-per-cent turnout for the second dose that same week.

“The way Ford treated me, I was floored by it,” said Mamakwa. “I thought, maybe he just doesn’t know what I was asking? Then, I started thinking about the disrespect that he has shown to Indigenous people, not just me, but also the lack of compassion and the indifference that exists there.” Mamakwa said it is the moment that confirmed his view of the premier. “What he said, it showed me the real Doug Ford,” said Mamakwa. “It’s not just an attack on me, but it’s an attack on Indigenous people.”

“The holding of racist stereotypes that we saw at Question Period, if you hold those ideas about us as First Nations people, it makes sense that our people will continue not to trust the government. To see this exhibited at the highest political level in Ontario is not acceptable.” He said it even lessens the hope that many have that there will be a solution to the deep-seated issues within First Nation communities.