Maclean’s magazine calls Winnipeg the country’s “most racist” city in its latest edition.
In an interview on 660news.com the magazine’s associate editor Nancy Macdonald said the magazine started looking at racism felt by Winnipeg’s aboriginal community after the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found in the Red River in the summer.
“It was an atrocious story and it hit home in Winnipeg in a way that I’ve never seen before with a murder of a young aboriginal person,” explained Macdonald.
McDonald said the article, which hits newsstands today, includes accounts of aboriginal people in Winnipeg who say they experience racism every day.
“One woman said a week doesn’t go by that she isn’t harassed walking downtown, that someone doesn’t call her a stupid squaw or tells her to go back to the rez or honks at her or offers her money for sex” said Macdonald. “Educated people will tell me that every time they go into Walmart security watches them as they leave. People will tell you they feel racial profiling by police and they’re not treated fairly in hospitals.
“It’s a really deep issue that cuts across all types of divides.”
Despite the negatives brought up in the story, Macdonald also said the report found attitudes are starting to change in Winnipeg.
“The headline doesn’t tell the entire story,” she said. “This is actually a fairly positive story. People really feel that the issue is being talked about in a way that it hasn’t before, that communities are coming together and that positive change may come from Tina’s murder.”