by Tanya Kappo, December 30, 2012
December 30, 2012 (Thunder Bay) The family of a woman who was brutally attacked on Thursday evening has come forward to issue a warning to people of First Nations descent living in the Thunder Bay region.
On Thursday evening Angela Smith (not her real name to protect her identity) was walking to a store in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Two Caucasian men pulled their car up along side her as she walked on the sidewalk and began issuing racial slurs while throwing items at her from the car. When she continued to walk, the car stopped and the passenger of the vehicle got out of the car and grabbed the woman by her hair and forced her into the back of the car where she was held her down in the back seat by one of them and driven out of the city.
They drove her to a surrounding wooded area where they brutally sexually assaulted, strangled and beat her. During the attack they told her it wasn’t the first time they had committed this type of crime and added, “it wouldn’t be the last.” They also told her “You Indians deserve to lose your treaty rights.” Making a reference to the current peaceful protests being undertaken by First Nations in Thunder Bay and throughout the country under the banner of Idle No More.
Left for dead in the wooded area, Angela managed to walk for four to five hours back to her home, where police were called. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and the crime is currently under investigation.
Speaking from her home in Thunder Bay on Friday, Angela said, “The only thought that came to my mind were my children. I thought I would never see them again.”
She said she also wanted to get the information out to community members in Thunder Bay, “It’s a cruel world out there and right now with the First Nations trying to fight this Bill (Bill C-45) everyone should be looking over their shoulder constantly because there are a lot of racists out there and to be careful.”
Her mother added, “We felt it was important for us to get the word out because we are very concerned about the safety of our women in the community. And as well we want to tell people that even though this happened to my daughter, we are not the violent ones. We want to tell people not to get angry or to be violent. Its very important that the Idle No More movement to remain peaceful.”
Angela is a member of a community of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation in Northwestern Ontario.