Published Monday, June 18, 2018 10:53PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, June 18, 2018 11:04PM ADT
“It’s not okay.”
Those three simple words are driving a video campaign that began in Millbrook, N.S., after a First Nations hockey team was taunted in Quebec last month with racial slurs and bigoted behaviour.
That video struck a nerve with many Indigenous people, including Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade.
The video was from the Challenge Cup tournament in Quebec three weeks ago where a team called First Nations Elites was taunted with racist slurs, mock war cries and tomahawk chops. No action was taken against the opposing teams, coaches, or parents.
Defenceman Julien Marshall is from Millbrook and Chief Gloade wanted to do something to address the problem.
“As we were discussing it, we thought why not do a viral video and get the message out that it’s not okay when we’re talking about racism in sports,” Gloade said. “I said, it isn’t only in sports when we look at it, it’s in everyday life.”
The campaign is simply called “It’s not okay,” and people are invited to record themselves saying the phrase, and send the clip to Millbrook First Nation.
It’s an attempt to make something positive out of a negative experience.
“It definitely will reach the younger generations,” said Heather Stevens of the Millbrook Heritage Centre. “The younger generations are the ones that are the ones that can make the change.”
Chief Gloade says many Indigenous sports teams have had to deal with racism over the years.
The Elites’ team reaction, calm and determined, is one that has created pride in the community.
“At times, the anger gets the best of you, and you do retaliate but, you know, to see those young men, you know, it gives you hope,” said Garret Gloade, an interpreter with the Millbrook Heritage Centre.
Chief Gloade says they’re hoping to gather the video clips, from First Nations communities across the country. He’s hoping to have the video completed by the end of the week.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.
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