Today’s news is grim. At Shoppers Drug Mart in the McIntyre Mall just hours, after we were there on Sunday evening, a likely minimum wage contract security guard grabbed an Indigenous youth, and smashed him to the floor-– threatened to put handcuffs on him. A video is circulating, which I’ll post when I can. Of course, the public relations spinner from the Loblaw’s empire that owns Shoppers was quick to point out that a security guard’s grabbing and assaulting the youth “does not reflect our company’s values.” Really. What isn’t clear from this photo is the fact that right behind it is the infamous Neebing-McIntyre Floodway which resembles a river. At least three young Indigenous people were found drowned in the floodway. In Sept., 2017 the body of Dylan Moonias aged 21 was discovered. In May 2017, 17 year old Tammy Keeash’s drowned body was also found there. Tammy Keeash, aged 17.
She had been missing for less than 24 hours, and the police had taken next to no interest in her disappearance. At the time, Keeash was in the care of Ontario’s child welfare system. Her short life and death is noted in Tanya Talaga’s award winning book, Seven Fallen Feathers. Keeash was found naked from the waist down, yet Thunder Bay police did not suspect foul play. Several weeks later, the body of Josiah Begg — aged 14, was also found drowned in the floodway. He had gone missing May 6, the same day as Keeash. He had travelled to Thunder Bay with a family member — from a fly-in community hundreds of kilometres away — for a medical appointment. Josiah Begg, aged 14 yrs.