Protesters say they are often subjected to discrimination in stores
CBC News Posted: Jul 28, 2017
About 50 protesters gathered outside a Canadian Tire store in east Regina on Friday after an Indigenous elder was ejected from the store earlier in the week.
A video of the incident, which was widely shared on Facebook, shows a disagreement between the man, Kamao Cappo, and a store worker, which then became physical.
Cappo said he had been shopping for a chainsaw Wednesday when the employee accused him of stealing.
“When they ordered us out and I didn’t put my head down like a good little Indian and go along with it, this gentleman became ungentle and became very aggressive,” Cappo said to reporters at the protest.
The incident has struck a chord with some First Nations people, who say it’s the kind of discrimination they are often subjected to in stores.
Cappo said he felt like he was targetted as soon as he went into the store.
“I knew they were following us and I acted accordingly: I made sure there was no chance we could be seen as stealing something,” Cappo said.
Search for an apology
On Thursday, Canadian Tire apologized for the incident and said it was in direct contact with Cappo.
But Cappo said as of Friday, they had still not apologized directly to him.
The company said it is waiting for him to contact them, which didn’t sit well with protesters like Brandy Maxie.
”Realistically it’s just a PR stunt to issue an apology through the media,” said Maxie of the White Bear First Nation. “It’s not actually a genuine apology, and that means that we’re still not moving in the right direction in solving this.”
Cappo said he would speak to Canadian Tire if they called him, but doesn’t think he should be required to reach out to them.
He suggested a race-relations training program for staff, as well as putting some Indigenous managers in charge.
Cappo said he’s also dealing with some medical fallout from the incident, including chest pains, shortness of breath and headaches.
“After the adrenalin wore off, everything kicked in,” Cappo said.
The doctor put him on pain medication for pains in his back and knee and told him to rest for a few days.
He has also filed a complaint with police.