An Open Letter to the Sponsors of the Chronicle Journal

Re: Publication of Tamara Ward Johnson’s anti-Indigenous ad
June 11, 2014
Dear Sponsor,
We, the undersigned, as treaty people, wish to bring your attention to the fact that your
sponsorship of the Chronicle Journal has effectively given a platform to racism in Thunder Bay.
You will note on page A12 of the June 10th 2014 edition of the Chronicle Journal, Tamara Ward
Johnson, on behalf of the Ontario Libertarian Party, has demonized Indigenous peoples, both
directly and indirectly, as leaches benefitting unfairly from the Canadian tax system. As such,
the Chronicle Journal is serving to legitimize hate towards Indigenous peoples and to spread
misinformation about First Nations, our treaties and our relationships with Canadians. This is
putting Indigenous individuals at increased risk of experiencing physical violence on the streets
of Thunder Bay. With more than one thousand Indigenous women missing, murdered and/or
traded in Canada, we find the Chronicle Journal’s willingness to publish Tamara Ward Johnson’s
ad to be incredibly concerning.
We write to you now because your decision to advertise in the Chronicle Journal has made you a
sponsor of this news outlet. It is fair to assume that, as businesses operating in and near Thunder
Bay, some of your customers identify as Indigenous peoples. We therefore request your action
on the following:
1. That you pull your financial support from the Chronicle Journal specifically for its uncritical
publishing of what is clearly anti-Indigenous hate speech.
2. If you do not opt to pull such support, we therefore request that you explain publicly how you
reconcile taking money from Indigenous peoples, only then to fund anti-Indigenous
sentiments in the public forum through the Chronicle Journal.
In closing, we would like to say that while we support free speech, the above described situation
is beyond acceptable. Free speech should not include hate speech.
Best wishes,
Debbie Sault Jana-Rae Yerxa
President Biskaabiiyang Collective
Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre
Damien Lee Willow Blasizzo
Biskaabiiyang Collective Biskaabiiyang Collective
Collin Graham Adam Barker
Biskaabiiyang Collective Biskaabiiyang Collective
Cc: Dan Topatigh, President and CEO, Tbaytel Cc: Bay Credit Union
Cc: Marostica Motors Cc: Blaze Fireplace & Stone
Cc: Happy Time Tours Cc: Maki Bay Solar Inc.
Cc: Excalibur Motorcycle Works Cc: Northern Superior Structural Solutions
Cc: Petrie's Cycle & Sports Cc: Design Building Centre
Cc: Stride Footwear Cc: Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
Cc: Thunder Bay Insulations Cc: Children's Center Foundation
Cc: KalTire Cc: Mario's Bowl
Cc: Northern Turf Equipment Cc: China House
Cc: North Star Air Cc: Marc Chony Jewellers
Cc: The Gameshelf Cc: ABA Dental Clinic
Cc: Speed Demon Lights Cc: Chartwell Retirement Residences
Cc: Lakehead Communications Cc: Michael's Hair Design & Day Spa
Cc: Rust Check Auto Cc: J.B. Evans
Cc: Verticals n Visions Blinds & Drapery Cc: Lakehead Motors
Cc: Home Check
Cc: Safety Net Security
Cc: Porter Airlines
Cc: Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc.