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The public reacts after viral video sparks conversation on racial profiling
The American Indian Movement (AIM) Saskatchewan organization gathered outside the north Regina Giant Tiger today in support of Ezekial Bigknife.
Published Monday, November 27, 2017 7:17PM CST
The American Indian Movement (AIM) Saskatchewan organization gathered outside the north Regina Giant Tiger today in support of Ezekial Bigknife. The Indigenous man who posted a video that has since gone viral of him being followed for more than four minutes inside the story last Thursday.
"I never once did anything, I just go there and shop and pay for my items and leave, I don’t know why he followed me for whatever reason, I didn't do nothing," said Bigknife.
AIM Saskatchewan is also calling for an end to racism and racial profiling,
"We need to stand up and voice ourselves and keep our heads high," says Dallon Thompson, President of AIM Saskatchewan.
“Racial profiling is racism and we need to see that stopped. I shop here weekly, daily and I go through the same thing,” says Murray Stonechild, Vice President of AIM Saskatchewan.
In the video, Bigknife said this specific employee always followed him every time he shops at Giant Tiger. In an interview with CTV, he said he felt uncomfortable shopping at giant tiger and calls it harassment.
“Every time I would go there, he would be right there on my tail,” added Bigknife.
Giant Tiger has suspended the employee involved and has reached out to Bigknife and apologized.
Karen Smith, Chief Executive Officer with The Better Business Bureau said issuing an apology to the customer is the right thing to do, but a good business is expected to do more. “They would extend their apology in a manner that is more actionable. You know words are fine but probably would like to see more than that."
Katia Hildebrandt, is a sessional instructor in education at the University of Regina who is researching social justice discussions on social media. According to Hildebrandt, instances like Bigknife's is a common everyday occurrence, "I think that what we're seeing is just one example is the structural racism faced by Indigenous people.”
She says people should stand up to these kinds of incidents in person and through social media, “As a white person I need to be kind of aware of what’s going on around me and calling out things that happen that I see that might be this type of structural racism."
In a statement to CTV, Giant Tiger says, "What occurred in the video in question is a direct contradiction of our brand values as well as our policies and should never have occurred."
They added they are continuing to investigate what happened.
With files from Creeson Agecoutay