How a Facebook lie about Thunder Bay woman killed by trailer hitch spread

(Barbara Kentner/Facebook)

Social-media user who posted fake story about Barbara Kentner admits he was ‘wrong’

Tia Nicholaichuk said she was struck by how quickly the rumours spread on Facebook about Barbara Kentner, the Anishinaabe woman who died this summer after she was struck by a trailer hit thrown from a moving car in northern Ontario.

The 34-year-old social work student from Thunder Bay, Ont. said she was also bothered by the tone of some Facebook comments directed at Kentner after her family announced she was dying and also after her death.

“The lies had been going around for quite a while.” said Nicholaichuk. “There’s been really nasty things being said.”

Kentner, 34, died at about 5 a.m. July 4 in the hospice and palliative care unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay. On Jan. 29, at about 1 a.m., she was struck by a trailer hitch thrown from a car on McKenzie St. The impact of the trailer hitch created internal injuries that led to a slow and painful death, according to Kentner’s family.

Earlier this month, the Crown prosecutor announced he was upgrading the charge against Brayden Bushby, 18, to second-degree murder in connection with the trailer hitch incident. Bushby, who turned himself into police shortly after the January incident, was initially charged with aggravated assault.

Tyler Jeffries, 35, from Thunder Bay admitted he was ‘wrong’ about his claims. (Courtesy of Tia Nicholaichuk)

Nicholaichuk said she decided to act after the Crown’s announcement. She noticed a Facebook comment from someone debunking a long-shared lie that Kentner had been previously involved in an assault on a 15-year-old boy that left him with a caved-in eye-socket. Nicholaichuk said she wanted to get to the “bottom of this” and began sifting through posts, primarily from the Real Concerned Citizens of Thunder Bay Facebook group.

“When I sat down and tried to trace this rumour and I kind of put all these screenshots together of misinformation being spread and just outright hate, it was really shocking,” said Nicholaichuk. “The whole story people were basing this on was fabricated. I realized I needed to get the word out there as soon as soon as possible.”

Origins of the fake story

Nicholaichuk provided CBC News with a number of posts she collected, many from the Real Concerned Citizens Facebook group.

It appears the rumour that Kentner had previously assaulted a boy began after a redacted copy of a court document sheet with Kentner’s name was posted on the Thunder Bay Courthouse — Inside Edition Facebook page in February. It claimed Kentner and two other women were facing several charges for allegedly assaulting and intimidating a Crown witness on Nov. 8, 2016. The posted copy had the victim’s name redacted.

CBC News obtained a copy of the original court document and it identified the victim as a woman.

One of the people who supported the story was Thunder Bay resident Tyler Jeffries, who also posted under the name Gregory Lusko. He claimed the boy was a child of a “friend of mine” and that he was “friends with the family.”

The story was repeated by several posters and some continue to believe it.

CBC News contacted Jeffries about his posts. He said he was “wrong” and that he never knew the family of the boy.

Tyler Jeffries says he no longer throws pennies at ‘hookers.’ (Courtesy Tanya Toneguzzi)

“I was bullshitting about that,” said Jeffries, in a telephone interview. “I heard it from a buddy and he heard from a buddy’s buddy.”

Jeffries, who says he has friends from “all ethnicities,” maintained his belief that Kentner was a “monster” because she allegedly intimidated a witness — something that was never proven in court.

“Do I go around throwing pennies at hookers at the age of 35, no, absolutely not,” said Jeffries, who was banned from the Real Concerned Citizens Facebook group.

‘I don’t really care if she was purple’

An eyewitness to the Nov. 8, 2016, incident, which occurred in a park across from the Thunder Bay courthouse, said Kentner did not assault anyone. Holly Papassay, Kentner’s sister-in-law, said she arrived at the park as the melee was unfolding. She said Kentner did nothing more than yell during the incident and she was arrested for simply being friends with one of the women involved.

Papassay said the social media lies and hate have hurt the family.

“Seeing all those posts, and knowing my nephews and my niece, Barb’s daughter, were seeing this was heartbreaking,” said Papassay, in a Facebook conversation with CBC News. “And it angered me…. That’s just sickening and shows how cowardly most of them are, to hide behind a screen and talk trash.”

Tanya Toneguzzi was another Facebook poster who believed Jeffries’ story. Toneguzzi bristled at the suggestion her posts reflect racism.

“I don’t really care if she was purple, it just so happens she was Native,” said Toneguzzi, in a Facebook conversation with CBC News. “If I was ‘ranting’ about a case such as Barbara’s, and the deceased person was Caucasian, do you really think people would be angry with me? No, it wouldn’t matter because the person was Caucasian.”

Tanya Toneguzzi believed the story of the 15-year-old boy. (Courtesy of Tia Nicholaichuk)

Toneguzzi said Bushby has also been bashed on social media.

“I’m sure that a lot of things said on social media hurt Bushby’s family,” she said. “The fact that people are trying to say that this was a ‘hate crime’ is unfair. We don’t even know the true facts in regards to the alleged incident.”

Racist posters blocked

Pino Demasi, one of the moderators of Real Concerned Citizens — which has over 13,000 members — said discussion on the page, while sometimes heated, is generally civil and he’s seen opinions evolve.

“There is a small group of people who are vocal about what they feel,” said Demasi. “I don’t think the comments of a few reflect the actual atmosphere of Thunder Bay. I think they are more of the louder people you see.”

Demasi said there are about 9,000 group members who are from Thunder Bay and the page sees roughly about 1,700 posts and between 60,000 to 100,000 comments a month.

He said the page’s banned poster list is about 2,000 people long and about 1,000 were blocked for racist comments.

“The majority, 30 to 40 per cent, are definitely toward Indigenous people,” said Damssi. “The No. 2 would be towards white people.”

Article By Jorge Barrera, published in CBC News on Nov 18, 2017

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Brayden Bushby Charged With 2nd Degree Murder After Death of Indigenous Woman Hit by Trailer Hitch

Barbara Kentner (Facebook).

Charge upgraded from aggravated assault to second-degree murder

Brayden Bushby, 18, has been charged with second-degree murder after allegedly throwing a trailer hitch from a car that struck an Indigenous woman who later died in hospital.

According to CBC News, Bushby was originally charged with aggravated assault by Thunder Bay police in February. Barbara Kentner, 34, died in July.

Bushby made a brief court appearance Friday morning; afterward, acting Crown Attorney Andrew Sadler confirmed the murder charge.

Bushby, who is in custody, is scheduled for a bail hearing Friday afternoon

He will make another court appearance on Nov. 6.

Details of the case have been subjected to a publication ban.

Racism Toward Indigenous People Escalating in Thunder Bay: Grand Chief

Nishnawbe Aski Nation chiefs begin emergency meeting to discuss student safety in Thunder Bay

The Canadian Press | July 6, 2017

First Nations leaders met for a second day Thursday to discuss serious concerns about safety of young people in Thunder Bay — a northwestern Ontario city that leads the country in hate crimes reported to police.

The decision to meet with federal and provincial officials was made last month, but recent tragedies have magnified its importance, said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.

Those include a recent double homicide involving two Indigenous people in Thunder Bay and the death Tuesday of an Indigenous woman who was injured in January when she was hit by a trailer hitch thrown from a moving car.

“This is not the kind of conference that we want to have, but we have to,” Fiddler said in an interview. “I think the issues are too urgent.”

Barbara Kentner, 34, told police she and her sister were walking in a residential neighbourhood when someone threw the heavy chunk of metal from a vehicle. Her sister Melissa said she heard someone in the vehicle say: “I got one.”

Fiddler also cited last year’s Ontario inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations high school students, during which witnesses reported having had objects or racial epithets hurled in their direction.

“That’s something I think all of us need to acknowledge … this is a real problem,” he said. “I think that’s the only way we can begin to come together and address these issues.”

Last month, amid concerns about local policing expressed by First Nations leaders, Ontario’s chief coroner asked an outside police force to help investigate the deaths of two Indigenous teens.

Dr. Dirk Huyer asked York Regional Police to get involved in the investigation of the deaths of 14-year-old Josiah Begg and 17-year-old Tammy Keeash.

In June, Statistics Canada reported that most of the police-reported hate incidents in Thunder Bay targeted Indigenous people, accounting for 29 per cent of all anti-Aboriginal hate crimes across Canada in 2015.

“Young people have told me repeatedly of walking home and having things flung at them out of cars,” Thunder Bay MP and Liberal cabinet minister Patty Hajdu said following the release of the Statistics Canada report.

“Indigenous women and Indigenous men who have experienced going to a store … and when they put their hand out to receive change, the storekeeper will purposely not touch their hand.”

–Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

[SOURCE]

Barbara Kentner, First Nations Woman Hit by Trailer Hitch in Thunder Bay, Ont., Dies

Barbara Kentner, left, was struck by a trailer hitch thrown from a moving car in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Jan. 29. Her sister, Melissa Kentner, right, posted on Facebook that Barbara died on July 4. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Barbara Kentner, 34, was struck in January, police consider changing charge against man, 18

CBC News Posted: Jul 04, 2017

A First Nations woman who was hit by a trailer hitch, thrown from a passing car in Thunder Bay, Ont., last January, has died.

Barbara Kentner, 34, required surgery after being hit in the abdomen by the trailer hitch on Jan. 29. She was released from hospital in time to take part in a walk in her honour on Feb. 5, but later returned to medical care.

Her sister, Melissa Kentner told CBC News in March that Barbara would not recover from her injuries. Melissa posted on Facebook early Tuesday  that Barbara had died. She and other family members confirmed the death with CBC News.

The passenger in the car yelled, “Oh, I got one,” after throwing the hitch at the sisters who were walking on McKenzie Street between Dease and Cameron streets, Melissa Kentner told CBC News in February.

The internal damage when Kentner was hit in the kidneys by the hitch was irreparable and proved fatal, her sister said.

An 18-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault relating to the incident. Thunder Bay police told CBC News they are looking into whether the charges will be changed, in light of Kentner’s death.

[SOURCE]

 

First Nations Activists from Winnipeg to Blockade TransCanada Highway on Friday

Blockade at Ontario and Manitoba border. Photo: Red Power Media

Red Power Media | June 29, 2017

For immediate release

On, June 30th, 2017, First Nations activists from Winnipeg will be shutting down a portion of the TransCanada Highway to protest the Canadian government and bring awareness to the youth suicide crisis in First Nations communities as well to the deaths of several indigenous youth in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Members of the American Indian Movement, Urban Warrior Alliance and Idle No More will be taking part in a pipe ceremony for youth, followed by a blockade of the highway.

Representatives from groups taking part are demanding the Liberal government increase the availability of mental health services on reserves and provide culturally appropriate resources for youth including in Manitoba. Inadequate health-care services, the loss of cultural identity and lack of proper housing are key factors contributing to the high rates of suicide and mental illness among indigenous peoples. Recently in Ontario, three 12 year old girls died by suicide at Wapekeka First Nation, located about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. The latest one happened June 13th when a pre-teen girl hung herself.

The deaths of several Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay have also raised concerns about racism against Indigenous people and inadequate police investigations. First Nations leaders have expressed their lack of faith in Thunder Bay police. The York Regional Police service have been requested to investigate the deaths of Josiah Begg, 14, and Tammy Keeash, 17, found dead in McIntyre River in May. Ten indigenous people have been found dead in Thunder Bay, since 2000. Seven were First Nations students who died between 2000 and 2011 while attending high school in the Thunder Bay, hundreds of kilometres away from their remote communities where access to education is limited. Organizers of Fridays protest would like to see improvement in First Nations education and increase in funding for schooling on reserves.

Activists are requesting the RCMP respect their right to protest. They plan to start their demonstration around 12 pm just east of Winnipeg near Deacon’s corner. A press conference will also take place at that time. Activists are planning to hand out information to motorists and collect signatures on a petition calling for immediate action from the minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennet, as well as the Minister of Health Jane Philpott.

Thunder Bay Police Investigating Who Wrote ‘I Killed Those Kids’ on Train Car

APTN National News | June 8, 2017

Thunder Bay police say it is investigating who wrote “I killed those kids’ in black marker on an old train car near the site of where the body of Jethro Anderson was found in 2000.

APTN National News knows this because on Thursday a Thunder Bay detective called APTN reporter Kenneth Jackson, who found the writing and tweeted a picture of it Wednesday evening.

Det. John Read asked Jackson if he could meet with an investigator at police headquarters and give a statement recorded on camera.

Jackson declined saying he had nothing to offer, explaining he saw the writing, took a picture and tweeted it.

“You found information about somebody killing kids. That’s pretty important information don’t you think?” said Read.

When Jackson explained again he had nothing to offer, Read said it’s policy to have people who find information in a potential homicide to give a recorded statement.

“You are potentially a witness to something incredibly important,” said Read.

Jackson explained he didn’t see who wrote it, or when it was written, but did say he never touched the train car so perhaps police could check for fingerprints.

The writing is on an old VIA passenger car next to Kaministiquia River where Anderson, 15, was found. It was still there Thursday afternoon.

His death was the first of seven First Nations youth that were the focus of an inquest that wrapped up last year. The inquest ruled his death as undetermined.

Family said it took Thunder Bay police days to launch an investigation into Anderson’s disappearance back in 2000. Two more First Nation youth were pulled for waterways last month: Tammy Keeash, 17, and Josiah Begg, 14.

Keeash’s mother said she doesn’t accept that her daughter drowned in the Neebing McIntyre floodway as there was no water where her body was found and is it is full of heavy reads.

Keeash also had markings on her face and hands as reported Tuesday by APTN.

Police said Wednesday they have examined the evidence and don’t suspect foul play but the case remains open.

kjackson@aptn.ca

[SOURCE]

Thunder Bay Police Won’t Lay Charges in Local Standing Rock Demonstration

Thunder Bay police say no charges will be laid in connection with a December 2016 rally on Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay in support of the Standing Rock environmental movement. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Thunder Bay police say no charges will be laid in connection with a December 2016 rally on Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay in support of the Standing Rock environmental movement. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Police review found public safety maintained, disruption minimal

CBC News Posted: Dec 16, 2016

Thunder Bay police won’t lay charges against the organizers of and participants in a rally in support of the Standing Rock environmental movement that took place in the city.

The police service announced the decision in a written release Friday afternoon, after the completion of a review of the local demonstration.

More than 100 demonstrators carrying signs took over the intersection of Memorial Avenue and the Harbour Expressway in Thunder Bay, Ont. during the noon hour on Monday, Dec. 5.

In its release, Thunder Bay police said that “traffic flow in the area of the demonstration was managed by [police] officers to minimize disruptions for motorists.”

The force also described the rally as peaceful.

“Our primary concern was public safety,” said Insp. Dan Taddeo — the police commander at the demonstration site, and the person in charge of the review — was quoted as saying in Friday’s release.

“Steps were taken to ensure that no one was put in any danger as a result of the demonstration.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-standing-rock-no-charges-1.3900861?cmp=abfb

Thunder Bay Police Officer’s Facebook Post Prompts Professional Standards Investigation

Thunder Bay police said they 'would like to apologize to our Indigenous community for the hurt' that may have been caused by comments allegedly made by a police officer on social media.

Thunder Bay police said they ‘would like to apologize to our Indigenous community for the hurt’ that may have been caused by comments allegedly made by a police officer on social media.

Police apologize to Indigenous community for ‘the hurt these comments may cause’

CBC, September 30, 2016

A Thunder Bay, Ont., police officer who posted on Facebook that “Natives are killing Natives” is the subject of an internal investigation launched Thursday by the city’s police service.

The comments were posted by Const. Rob Steudle, a director with the police association and a recipient of the Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.

Steudle was responding to a post on the local paper’s Facebook page on Sept. 17.

Thunder Bay police say this is the Facebook post that prompted their internal investigation. (Facebook)

Thunder Bay police say this is the Facebook post that prompted their internal investigation. (Facebook)

Steudle does not identify himself as a police officer on his Facebook profile.

CBC News has verified Steudle’s identity, and Thunder Bay police spokesman Chris Adams confirmed the post is the one referred to in the media release announcing the investigation into comments “alleged” to involve members of the Thunder Bay Police Service.

“These types of comments are not acceptable,” Adams said. “They do not reflect the values of the Thunder Bay Police Service. We would like to apologize to our Indigenous community for the hurt these comments may cause.”

Here is a timeline leading to the launch of the internal police investigation:

  • Sept. 13: CBC News reports allegations that a race-relations trainer was verbally assaulted by Thunder Bay police officerswhile delivering a session on Indigenous issues
  • Sept. 14-15: The local paper, the Chronicle Journal, writes an article and an editorial downplaying the concerns raised by the trainer.
  • Sept. 16: Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler writes a letter to the editor of the Chronicle Journal about the response by the police and the newspaper to the concerns about the race relations training. The letter is posted on Facebook.
  • Sept. 17-18: Rob Steudle posts several comments on the Facebook posting.
  • Sept. 29: Thunder Bay police respond to an APTN reporter’s request for comment on the Facebook post.

“We would like to thank the reporter from APTN News for bringing these comments forward to police,” the force said in the news release issued on Thursday.

The professional standards investigation comes as the Thunder Bay police are facing a systemic review by the province’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director for the way the service handles investigations into the deaths of Indigenous people.

Earlier this week, Ottawa police launched an investigation into a complaint that an Ottawa police officer made “troubling” commentson social media related to the death of Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook.

[SOURCE]

Jurors: Deaths Of Four First Nations Youth Undetermined; Three Accidental

The seven students who have died in Thunder Bay since 2000 are, from top left, Jethro Anderson, 15, Curran Strang, 18, Paul Panacheese, 17, Robyn Harper, 18, Reggie Bushie, 15, Kyle Morriseau, 17, and Jordan Wabasse, 15. (CBC)

The seven students who have died in Thunder Bay since 2000 are, from top left, Jethro Anderson, 15, Curran Strang, 18, Paul Panacheese, 17, Robyn Harper, 18, Reggie Bushie, 15, Kyle Morriseau, 17, and Jordan Wabasse, 15. (CBC)

The Canadian Press, June 29, 2016

The deaths of four First Nations youth who moved from their remote northern Ontario reserves to attend high school in Thunder Bay, Ont., occurred in an undetermined manner, an inquest jury decided Tuesday.

Three other deaths examined at the months-long inquest were deemed accidental, the packed courtroom heard.

Jethro Anderson, 15, Curran Strang, 18, Robyn Harper, 19, Paul Panacheese, 21, Reggie Bushie, 15, Kyle Morrisseau, 17 and Jordan Wabasse, also 15, all died between November 2000 and May 2011.

“All seven were beloved children who died tragically and prematurely and lost the opportunity to lead their own lives, raise their own families and make their own valuable contribution,” said presiding coroner, Dr. David Eden.

The death of Panacheese, who collapsed at his boarding house, was found to be undetermined. Harper was found dead of acute alcohol poisoning at her boarding home the morning after she went out drinking with friends. She had been in the city just two days. Her death was ruled an accident.

The drowned bodies of the other five were all found in or near rivers in the city. In four of the drowning cases, alcohol played a role.

The deaths of Anderson, Morrisseau and Wabasse were deemed undetermined — meaning jurors could not decide how they got into the rivers — while those of Strang and Bushie were ruled accidental.

Julian Falconer, lawyer for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation from whose communities the young people came, called the verdicts related to some of those who drowned significant.

“‘Undetermined’ in respect of three of five of the drowning deaths sends a clear message that the police investigations were deeply flawed,” Falconer said. “Consequently, tragically, there is no way to rule out that these kids were deliberately killed.”

Jurors called for development of policies on dealing with missing students, including the timely filing of missing-person reports, the use of social media in subsequent searches, and training for Thunder Bay police in investigating such cases.

Lawyer Brian Gover, who represented the police, said it’s easy to be critical in hindsight but noted the service had already made many improvements in its processes.

“The cases took place over 11 years, and in the course of those 11 years, the Thunder Bay Police Service adapted its response to the problem of missing First Nation youths,” Gover said.

In all, jurors made 145 recommendations in 18 broad areas aimed at preventing a recurrence — most directed at the federal and Ontario governments. They include a call for more funding for aboriginal education with the aim of closing the gap between native and non-native students regarding educational outcomes within 10 years.

“To ensure sufficient and stable funding for First Nations education, Canada and First Nations should jointly develop a new and fully transparent funding framework for First Nations education that is based on actual student needs,” jurors recommended.

Other recommendations were aimed at ensuring aboriginal students receive proper supports while at high school in Thunder Bay, including access to substance-abuse treatment and programs. Jurors also called for an end to “runners,” people who buy alcohol for under-age drinkers.

The five jurors also recommended educating students on the UN Declaration of the Rights of a Child and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They essentially adopted several of the TRC’s recommendations, among them enhancing aboriginal content in the school curriculum.

Reports on the recommendations should happen annually until all have been implemented or rejected, jurors said.

“The findings are crucial to understanding the underlying issues that our youth are faced with when attending school in urban centres,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day.

Six of the seven youths went to Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, while the seventh attended the Matawa Learning Centre.

The inquest, which began last October, heard from about 150 witnesses.

“There remains much work for all of us to do to ensure indigenous people are treated fairly and with respect for their culture and traditions,” Eden said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett welcomed the jury findings.

“This report shines a light on a terrible and preventable tragedy,” Bennett said in a statement.

“We understand and agree that there are large and systemic issues at play which led to these tragic losses of life.”

Ontario’s chief coroner had initially called an inquest into Bushie’s death. Like some of the others, he was found drowned in the McIntyre River in 2007. However, the process ground to a halt in 2008 due in part to a legal challenge related to the lack of aboriginal people on coroner’s juries that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1376017-jurors-deaths-of-four-aboriginal-youths-undetermined-three-accidental

Mother Of Indigenous Woman Found Naked On Thunder Bay Street Criticizes Police Response

A woman was found naked and calling for help on this street near the rail tracks on the north side of Thunder Bay, Ont., around midnight on March 10. Thunder Bay police say there is no evidence to support a criminal charge. (Jody Porter/CBC)

A woman was found naked and calling for help on this street near the rail tracks on the north side of Thunder Bay, Ont., around midnight on March 10. Thunder Bay police say there is no evidence to support a criminal charge. (Jody Porter/CBC)

By Jody Porter, CBC News Posted: Mar 22, 2016

Witness says woman told police a man tried to kill her, but police say no grounds for laying charges

The mother of a 28-year-old woman found naked and crying for help late one night in Thunder Bay, Ont., says police are ignoring a crime because her daughter is a First Nations woman and an addict.

Robin Sutherland, 31, said he and another man responded to a woman’s calls for help on Clavet Street around 12:15 a.m. on March 10.

“We saw a naked lady approaching us and she was quite distressed, screaming for help, and so she came up to us and I gave her my sweater to warm her up,” Sutherland said.

He stuck around after police arrived, waiting to get his sweater back. He said he heard the woman tell police she had been paid for sex that night and the transaction had gone horribly wrong.

“She started off by saying that he tried to kill her and drown her in the lake,” Sutherland said.

Clavet Street rail way

The industrial area across the railway tracks, near Lake Superior, on Thunder Bay’s north side, is a common place for prostitutes to be taken, says the mother of a woman who says her daughter sells sex to support her drug habit. (Jody Porter/CBC)

The woman’s mother said her daughter told her the same story.

CBC News is not identifying the mother because she said her daughter still fears for her safety.

“She said, ‘Mom, I thought I was going to die. He almost threw me in the water, naked,'” the mother said. “She showed me her bruises and how he dragged her and tried to drive off with her hanging on to the vehicle because her clothes were in the vehicle and she was all naked.”

“When he got out and attempted to throw her in the vehicle, that’s when she ran,” the mother added.

She said she is aware that her 28-year-old daughter sells sex in order to pay for the fentanyl to which she has become addicted, but said that is not an excuse for police inaction.

‘It’s because my daughter is First Nations’

“I think it’s because my daughter is First Nations and is a drug addict and that’s already two strikes against her, and this man who attempted to kill her is not First Nations,” the mother said.

CBC News attempted to contact the woman, without success, through Facebook and through her mother.

Thunder Bay police said they are also attempting to get in touch with her again.

“At the time of the original investigation, there were no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges,” said Thunder Bay police spokeswoman Julie Tilbury. “We would be interested in following up further with the complainant.”

Cora-Lee McGuire-Cyrette

Cora-Lee McGuire-Cyrette, of the Ontario Native Women’s Association, says studies show indigenous women who are sexually exploited are more likely to become counted among the missing and murdered. (Cora-Lee McGuire-Cyrette/Facebook)

The police response is “disheartening,” especially as awareness grows around the dangers faced by indigenous women, said Cora-Lee McGuire-Cyrette, the interim executive director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association.

“There’s a direct connection … reports show that those [indigenous women] who have been sexually exploited are at even greater risk of becoming a missing or murdered indigenous woman,” McGuire-Cyrette said.

Sutherland said he noticed police showed “a bit less care and less compassion” when the woman told them she was a prostitute.

After the ambulance came to get the woman, Sutherland said, the police officer handed him back his sweater using two fingers and said “to wash or burn it as soon as I got a chance.”

Sutherland said he didn’t think twice about giving the woman his sweater, even though it had his keys and money in the pockets.

“She needed help, I wasn’t going to just leave her there,” he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/naked-woman-thunder-bay-police-1.3501149