Chief Ed Wawia Slams Mayor Mauro and the TBPA


(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Ed Wawia made this statement in response to the recent viral video appearing to show a female Thunder Bay Police Service police officer allegedly slapping an impaired youth while on a Guerney:

“As the Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief representing the Northern Superior chiefs in the Robinson Superior Treaty territory, we have a significant number of our Anishinaabe citizens who call Thunder Bay their home, whether permanently or temporarily.

In reaction to the recent flood of events, I question the safety of our First Nation citizens. I am appalled to witness the lack of sensitivity by Thunder Bay citizens towards the incident involving an impaired youth being assaulted by a local on-duty police officer.

What is more troubling is the statement of newly elected Mayor of Thunder Bay, Bill Mauro, followed by a statement released by the Thunder Bay Police Association that are deflective, insensitive, and biased. The statement blatantly downplays the real issue at hand of a police officer assaulting an impaired and detained youth and instead, shifts the focus towards blame, effectively dismissing our northern treaty partner, Alvin Fiddler, who is well within his mandate to question and call for answers following the incident involving a young girl from one of the 49 communities he represents.

Such statements from officials in public positions of authority and influence are destructive and contrary to a solution-based agenda and approach. Their statements raise more questions than answers regarding the ethical and social values they possess that shape their worldview, which ultimately dictates the standard of care and representation on behalf of all people and citizens, regardless of race, sex, lifestyle or religion.

We all have an obligation to fulfill when it comes to protecting and supporting our citizens, especially our young people who are a vulnerable demographic. We do our citizens and ourselves a great injustice when we narrow our focus to race, blame, and politics. The Mayor and police association made multiple references supporting the police officer on duty; however, not one reference or concern towards the young girl. The blame must stop here. If reconciliation is what we want, then we need to take ownership of our individual roles, especially as public servants, and roll up our sleeves and get to work.

To that end, first and foremost as a father and elected Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief on behalf of the Northern Superior chiefs of the Anishinabek Nation within the Robinson Superior Treaty territory, we support our friend and treaty partner, Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, in condemning the actions taken by the police officer who assaulted a young girl from Nibinamik First Nation and we stand with him and everyone who is calling for immediate answers.”

– Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Ed Wawia


25 Replies to “Chief Ed Wawia Slams Mayor Mauro and the TBPA”

  1. this is all getting way out of hand, people are accountable for thier own actions!! the officer put neccisary force to subdue a unruley violent DRUNK!
    racism flows both ways around here, and in all honesty i see it mroe coming from the indiginous communitie towards white people..
    all people are equal and should be treated as such, so therefore stop with all this oh poor me crap and take care of your own, its not anyones fault but the person who commited the crime, or possibly the parents for bringing them up this way…
    start looking for answers to better your people and stop looking for handouts!!

    1. You didn’t even watch the video. He/she was already physically restrained with straps and had a blanket on top of him/her. Don’t make a comment if you lack the capacity to do your research

  2. Omg another one piped up Please oh great leaders first you have to recognize the fact that this assault was a direct result of the assault of spitting on the officer. How can you sit there and condemn this officer who was doing her job. If this girl hadn’t assaulted the officer first, there would be no story here at all. So let’s get to the root of the problem, why are so many indigenous youth intoxicated, in gangs, behaving badly, committing crimes or offences? Own it.

    1. Do you think it was necessary to slap or hit a kid on the head while they’re physically restrained by straps from a gurney? Don’t be stupid. She hit him not out of necessity, but of malice. Her little ego got burned because she was spit on, which made her angry and prompted her to strike the kid on the head. She lacks resolve if she can’t deal with a little saliva and should not be an officer.

  3. when is enough enough? the citizens and police of Thunder Bay are tired of the constant blame that is put on all of us…
    what have we done besides being disrespected from the top of the chain all throughout? take a look in your own back yard the constant finger pointing has grown old. take a look at what actually goes on, from the murders , stabbings, intoxicated individuals, robberies need I go on to just name a few? we have all grown tired of all of this maybe its time for one of the CHEIFS to start managing the people like they always state before they throw them into society without a clue. there wouldn’t be as many issues if it was done properly. how soon it is forgotten who is left to try and mend the situations the only time we hear from the Grand anyone is when they want or need something when does it end???? no one has created this but you the only concern on your level is how much money and what is free… there are many ways to mend society but when society is always on the defensive it creates hatred and problems. society reacts to what goes on around them think about that.. How many times are the police assaulted verbally or physically? why can’t they defend themselves? if what was done was a crime than fine , but don’t forget you also had a intoxicated underage individual who committed assault as well. Lets not lose site of the bigger problems here or have we forgotten already….

  4. And the sh!t show begins.
    Everyone involved in this circus better grab your Popcorn – it’s going to get good.
    Just for once – I’d like to see the higher echelons take responsibility for their own people and for ONCE, stop blaming everyone else for the issues they cause and instigate on their own.
    $50 bucks says the “Chiefs” are going to call for Mauro’s and Hauth’s resignations. They’ll keep asking for resignations until they get someone in their that will bow to their agenda. How long do we put up with this crap? When is someone going to finally call a “spade a spade” to what this is all about?

  5. If any of my teenagers had spit on the police officer, I would have been shaking her hand for slapping them. Today’s youth need to be taught respect. Spitting in an officer’s face is just proof that there is no respect. If the teenager had been WHITE, nothing would have been said or done.
    Before fingers keep getting pointed, maybe it is time to review the lessons taught to young people about respect. In fact, maybe it is time to teach some lessons to the older generations also as quite obviously, they don’t care as they just keep pointing.

  6. News flash master chief.. your opinion and interpretation of the situation, frankly, holds less value then Mr. Fiddler, so that’s pretty small.
    Unless you were born and raised here, which you weren’t.. the honest truth is no one actually cares about your opinion so save ur breath.

  7. Assaulted is a pretty strong word. As the accused displayed aggressive action towards the arresting office, the officer reacted with actions that they deemed appropriate at the time. There were no tasers, guns or bruises.

    This would have been no different had the accused been a non-aboriginal. Spitting is not an appropriate reaction by anyone, especially toward the police, who have a daily mess to deal with! Exactly what message do you think should be relayed to the accused, related to consequences to their actions.

    Does the mayor of Toronto “demand answers” when one of it’s gang members gets in trouble in Thunder Bay?
    How much do these 49 communities contribute to the policing of these Thunder Bay citizens?

    I would think that these band leaders have enough on their plate worrying about their own problems. Let the local police force worry about theirs.

    No one is denying there is a huge problem across Canada. But it doesn’t demand answers, it demands solutions.

  8. Mr. Wawia, with all due respect, please read your paragraph four (the one beginning “Such statements from officials in public positions of authority and influence…” ) into the mirror and then think about the broader picture for a while.

  9. Having to deal with the issue of ” Because I’m Brown you won’t give me what I want ” all the time this is getting tired. You get free education and your Reserve gets more money than any working White Man could dream of so the Chief’s can live large and others can go scrounge. You don’t pay taxes like every other “Canadian”. I’m not exactly sure How many native deaths or assults are result of a “White Person” in the last 10 years but I do not believe everything is because of “White Man”. We have our problems in our own house and we deal with it. I don’t put blame on anyone if a member of my family did wrong. They have to pay the penalty. We are all of the human race. If what happened in that incident is a result of the Officer being a human and had a human reaction than deal with the fact the officer is a human and not the fact that the original person that the officer was called because of was a native and needs special treatment. Trudeau is flooding the country with immigrants. Look up the United Nations definition of Indigenous. White man is falling into that category with all the immigrants. We want free everything too. That’s my 2 cents. Take it or leave it.

  10. I am a native man who was raised with native values which if one understands are the same values as we all strive to to attain – white, yellow, brown or black or any colour in between – we all live in the same place and need the same things to survive – sustinence, shelter, warmth and most importantly love, understanding and respect for one another and as a native person and I don’t like to say this I find that in this supposedly ( One of the greatest countries in the world) we are very seriously lacking – Where did we go wrong – a question we all seriously need to think about – We all live in Canada – Therefore we are all Canadians but what kind do we want to be?

    1. I agree. But you are missing two other colours light brown and dark brown. These people always seem to be missing in the race card. And there are lots of us. Sometimes I feel as a light brown person I don’t fit in with white or brown. Lol just saying.

  11. If these chiefs would look at the solved murders of indigenous people they would probably see that most of them are murdered by othe indigenous people. Whether it be by drinking partners or acquaintances. Stop blaming others and clean up your own back yards first. Quit demanding like Fiddler does or calling down those in charge. Put the blame where it belongs. Definitely not on the Mayor or the TBPS.

  12. Here’s my 2 cents worth, have a all indigenous complaints, domestic disputes, murders and what ever else handled by the NAN Police first then ask fo assistance from the TBPS and other law enforcement agencies. This way there is no blame or pointing figures when an offence is commited and supposedly not enough was done or there was no care given when investigating these said crimes.

  13. Most of you who commented on this site should be ashamed. Your lack of education and compassion really speaks to the true issues that plague the social fabric of Thunder Bay. You “locals” need to open your eyes and break this Thunder Bay pride thing you have going on, its pathetic and immensely embarrassing to the human race. Mauro stood up for that dumb police officer cause you dumb dumbs support her and are his voters. Thunder Bay is flawed, admit it, OWN IT, and try to make it better. Maybe look south for the answers?

    1. Mark, I’m glad as an outsider you picked up on this. It’s messed up and comes from both sides. I allow some pretty edgy comments to highlight what the situation is in Thunder Bay. You get a clear view of the issues that I report in my articles and a good idea what people here think of it. Somehow some people have turned that into me being a bad person, nuts to them I say.

  14. I’m just so sick and tired of all the nonsense. The funny thing is there is never any mention of all be crimes that are committed by first nation people. No mention of the drugs and booze that is consumed down by all the local rivers in this city. Kids drowning and First Nation leaders blaming the police. REALLY
    FIX YOUR OWN HOUSE BEFORE BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE. How much tax payers money has to be thrown your way before you all step up and fix the problems before blaming someone else. As far as the police officer slaping some stupid drunk chick big deal. If someone spit in my face I would punch them right in the head. Regardless of the colour of their skin
    Step up First Nation leaders blame yourself not everyone else. Do what you where elected to do and fix it. WOW

  15. All the finger pointing will not resolve any of the many serious issues that “our” city of Thunder Bay. I choose to live, work & pay city taxes like every one that lives here. Thunder Bay is a beautiful city. Thunder Bay has many beautiful people. How about we STOP pointing fingers, stop wagging out tongues and accept every human being as a person.

    I am willing to sit, talk, discuss & come to some positive solutions to all the negative comments, negative social media !!

    Come on Thunder Bay – we can do better.

  16. A little late to the party Ed; this happened a while ago. The outrage has subsided already; go have another beer and try to be a little more on the ball next time.

  17. U knw what its about time the damn police dept is finally being dealt with if I woke up to being strapped to a gurney after hitting my head and being a drunk native under age with the way youth been getting treated and them being aggressive with me and so defenseless I wud spit at her or on her too unless u have been arrested u will never knw the treatment a person can endure …now I watched this video about 50 times I dont even hear the girl talk as it sounds when she tries to her jaw was wired shut she was assaulted plain and simple how do u knw what she was doing before that they cover so much s**t up its pathetic and guess what I’m white I will defend them cuz I have witnessed alot and been the victim of my own verbal abuse by them like when I was assaulted in a local bar and grill and guess what not a drop of alcohol cuz I dont drink and drive plus I was driving the DJ home …so I was attacked by a group of so called tough bitches who thot they were as a group I called police they spoke to them individually so when I go back in I get kicked in the shin really hard by 1 of them u knw what I went back outside to stop them from leaving to tell them what happened u knw what the f***ing cop said to me y dont u just go home … ya just go home …..u knw y cuz he didnt wanna protect me he didnt even wanna deal with it well I stood up to him and said y shud I go home I havent even had a drop of alcohol I was drinking diet Pepsi at the time or water with lemons in it ..u people who try to defend these s***ty police officers are messed up and believe it or not this is coming from a white person ….we all bleed s**t piss the same and if this is going on they have every right to investigate and call out our so called police dept…I treat people how I’m treated so no shove ur s***ty comments about the victims and start trying to address the prob instead of finding ways to defend what she did plain and simple …the girl cudnt spit on her no way her head too high and strapped defenseless to a gurney being scared cuz she was already prob assaulted before this video was taken so wake up people the thunder bay police dept is not as nice as u think they are unless u are their personal friends or they like u …how much u wanna bet I get arrested with a native who they gna treat better think about it’s all bs and all u cop lovers out their there is no changing ur mind but it’s time to take the rose colored glasses off and wake the hell up they not as innocent as u think !!

  18. “Accept responsibility for your actions” “Stop blaming police” *wah wah wah* The kid was strapped down, and further more he was wrapped in a blanket with his arms tucked to his body. He posed no threat to this police officer, nor was he able to defend himself. You people are idiots if you think what the police officer did was acceptable, no sense whatsoever.

    Bottom line: She slapped a kid who was already physically restrained by a gurney. Everything else is irrelevant

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