“Kill Indians”: Grappling with Graffiti in Thunder Bay

Some mighty disturbing sentiments greeted visitors to the downtown of Thunder Bay, Ontario this week, including this offensive phrase:

The “Kill Indians” scrawl seen above was just one of many derogatory if not outright hateful messages spray-painted throughout high traffic areas in TB.

According to the tbnewswatch.com, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy says it’s not just First Nations who should be worried by the message:

“Whenever there’s racism involving potential violence, I think we should all be concerned as a society.”

The graffiti has people talking — at least online.  In the comments section of tbnewswatch.com, people weighed in on racism in Thunder Bay and Canada as a whole:

“As a society we have become way to sensitive to name calling and idiotic behaviour.  Instead of making this a media sensationalized story how about we just paint over it/clean it up and move on with life?”

“I’ve spent some time in some of the remote communities and have seen the same type of graffiti directed toward caucasion nurses and teachers.”

“One hopes that the natives in this city do not believe this is the sentiment of the majority of non-natives. Don’t be discouraged. This loser is just that….a loser.”

As I wonder what the majority of Thunder Bayers make of it all, meantime, I wish all graffiti couldn’t just be more like this:

Inuktitut graffiti in Yellowknife, NWT: "Don't get angry"

[ Upper image via tbnewswatch.com; lower image via nnsl.com ]

25 thoughts on ““Kill Indians”: Grappling with Graffiti in Thunder Bay

  1. Yikes, thats horrible! I wonder how Thunder Bay is and will address this? Please fill us in with updates.

  2. Unfortunatelly racism is still present in our society. Racism towards aboriginals, black people, jews, asian, latin people, white, etc..etc.
    I hope that one day we all can understand deeply that we are all connected. We are One, since our Creator is also One and the Father and Mother of all of us.
    My feeling goes to all that are affected by racism. And I pray for those who still did not understand that we are One, that there are no Races. There is just one Race…the Human Race.

  3. I'm well aware racist attitudes/behaviors can be seen within any given city, but having lived and experienced the city of Thunder Bay and being First Nations, surely this does not surprise me. Thunder Bay reeks unfortunately of racism – again, in my own experience.

  4. The most interesting part of this event is how I feel when encountering this photo. Even though I have no idea who wrote this or what the original intentions where, I still find myself feeling as if I have been stabbed with a knife because it's so close to home. The person who tweeted this feels the same way. One might find it easy to get upset at the people who broadcast these kinds of news report; however, I think there can be some personal and community benefit from these postings . As a full-time Yotube user, I often encounter many distasteful phrases posted on various channels and have been learning to work through the mindsets found within our world. – Now I got the BMO logo in my head, lol.

  5. I’m really starting to think white people were put on this earth to Reak Havik on races that are not white, just take a look at the History,it does not lie.Not only in Canada but all over the world,horrible!!! Even the Earth they Reak Havik on they want,gas,oil,minerals and they dont care who they hurt in the process to get it,and they dont care about the treaties they break to get it either,it seems from history that the Natives are the only ones who care that there doing all this stuff to our earth,because the Natives are the only ones putting up blockades and raising concern,you dont see white people putting up blockades and raising concerns that these big gas and oil companies are doing,but i bet you if these companies set up shop in there back yard they would be pissed also…

  6. Doesn’t this idiot know that he is making the white race look bad? Seriously ..no wonder why natives are scared to walk around Thunder Bay & its ONLY Tbay..People need to chill out.

  7. Thats Pretty Racist To Say!!!!!!!! I’m really starting to think white people were put on this earth to Reak Havik on races that are not white. Dont Label A Whole Race Because Of A Few Asshole Loosers. There Are Racist IN EVERY CULTURE

  8. Thunder Bay must get into the 21st Century already….people of many ethnicities and nationalities in this City!!

  9. people are so quick to blame white people, but just so you know it doesnt give you permission to act like a racist bastard towards anyone. just because you arent white and someone has said something about your race doesnt give you leeway to be a racist asshole.

  10. Be it racism is toward other ethnicities in society as a whole, this message targets First Nations; do not insult me n minimize the hateful ignorant mind frame of this sick individual (s). Its, “How do we deal with this racism towards First Nations in Thunder Bay, ON?” The levels of government need to ” collectively ” address this CONCERN, as it is their sworn oath to protect the society they govern. That, my dear, is where it should stand!

  11. what I would like to say is that we are not Indian whoever wrote this better get his facts right first of all in 1492 Christopher Columbus landed in north America he thought he was in India so that is why we were called Indians, we are not Indians we are first Nations.
    As a first Nation Elder is really makes me sad to see this kind of graffiti written like this in your city, it makes a fool of your people of Thunder Bay, we bring so much dollars to your city not only in the food industry but sports and hotels but I would not like to see this when I travel to your city.
    I myself was called a f….. Indian and it was like he stabbed me in my heart that is pretty bad, I hope something is done to address this. Miigwetch.

  12. instinct as an indian…”my feathers go up”…and as for assholes… we all have one……as well as opinions…..Thank you and enjoy your day…..I feel the onset of a bowel movement….

  13. I’m white and I’ve taken part (attended and help organize if I can) in whatever protests (Indigenous lead and otherwise) that I have been able. I see why you feel that way and I hear it. But it really isn’t all of us. There have always been stories of friendship. Their hate creates more hate – but it serves no-one.

  14. They didn’t call India India in 1492, they called the people “In dios” meaning “with god.” India was still called Hindustan. Gego pane wissakendaken iw zhinikaazowin, iw beshgwan zhinikaazowin eta.

  15. I think it was natives who did this graffiti … Caucasians have more respect than this … What it means to say is “kill India” – NS ….. The native syndicate is who is responsible .. It seems to be something that is in their nature of doing … Disrespect and vandalism … Then blaming your problems on the white man

  16. Thunder Bay has some disgusting people. This looks like a 4year old wrote this….Parents in Thunder Bay are filled with such hate and have no lives. They teach these children to have ignorance and hate for aboriginals. Thats just bad parenting! Whats gonna happen to those kids when they move to a bigger city where there stupidness and racism acts won’t be tolerated? I feel bad for these children. They have to grow up with such hate in their lives! LIKE COME BACK TO REALITY THUNDER BAY! BAD PARENTING 101

  17. more
    importantly… when is mankind going to realise… we are of all one
    RACE… there is only the HUMAN RACE… when mankind realises this…
    only then can the world move forward to achieve the greater goals
    everyone wants to do….
    i look at people… i dont see white, black, brown, asian , arab, ….
    all i see… is another human being… they have a heart beat like me…
    the feel emotion like me… thier blood runs red like me…
    one seperates themselves by race… it is an act of violence… when
    one seperates themselves by religion… it is an act of violence, or by
    political stand point, or region…. only when mankind accepts that is
    is a whole can we achieve true understanding and achieve world peace

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