On Friday, my Idle No More entry will be about the outrageous and completely unacceptable behavior towards Gary Moostoos — an Aboriginal cultural advisor with Boyle Street Community Services — by security guards when he was enjoying a meal in City Centre Mall’s food court Monday afternoon. The story on the CBC website can be found HERE.
Because of the mistreatment he has received at the hands of the security guards, there will be a peaceful demonstration held at Churchill Square (also known as Sir Winston Churchill Square) in Edmonton to bring attention to the discriminatory and racist actions visited upon Gary Moostoos. The peaceful demonstration intends to bring attention to the actions of employees and contract employees of City Center Mall owned by Oxford Property Group (owners of City Center Mall and Kingsway Mall in Edmonton as well as multiple other malls across Canada).
Friday, October 31
at 11:00am – 11:30am in UTC-06
On Monday, October 27 an Indigenous Elder was arbitrarily banned from the City Centre mall. This incident is indicative of a larger issue of racial profiling of Indigenous and marginalized community members from this property. As a private property, Oxford Property Group is not responsible to, or governed by regular policing or government laws, however, they must abide by Alberta Human Rights laws including a “duty to accommodate”. Anecdotal evidence by inner city residents points to a theme of intolerance by the mall. The incident the Elder faced speaks to a larger social phenomenon targeting particularly Indigenous people in the inner city.
As Indigenous peoples, concerned citizens, employees and helpers within the inner city we have a duty to listen to the concerns of these vulnerable citizens and speak up as the Elder has bravely done.
By Friday, a letter will be drafted by willing participants giving notice to Oxford that:
– we do not tolerate discriminatory treatment of Indigenous and marginalized peoples
– that a Human rights watch is now underway of their property by concerned citizens and professionals
– that a boycott will be commenced and encouraged until the company goes to extreme and heroic lengths to remediate the situation
The letter will include suggestions on how they may remediate including a lift of the ban, a full and public apology, coordination with the city and agencies that serve vulnerable populations and immediate retraining of their security guards. Any other ideas that may seem appropriate are welcome.
Miigwetch for you support. We will meet at Churchill Square in Edmonton Friday at 11:00 am and walk to the Oxford Property Group Head Office to hand deliver the letter and show our physical support for our brothers and sisters who are mistreated.