Parents weigh school versus safety in Thunder Bay
In remote communities throughout northwestern Ontario, Indigenous families are afraid for their children.
For many communities in the North, the reality for young people is that moving far from home is often their only way to get a high school education. But sending students to the city takes them out of the supporting sphere of their own family and community at an age when they can be particularly vulnerable to pressures ranging from alcohol and drugs, to depression, to racism.
Since 2000, nine young people have died in Thunder Bay, most while attending high school away from their home communities. Several of these deaths are still unsolved.
Increasingly, families are refusing to send their children to Thunder Bay. They’re seeking alternatives and arranging for high school education elsewhere, in places such as Winnipeg, Red Lake or Sioux Lookout.
CBC News visited Thunder Bay and Deer Lake First Nation to speak with municipal and Indigenous leaders, support workers, students and their families. One family knew their daughter, an aspiring hockey player, would have better access to teams and coaches in the city, but they decided she wouldn’t be safe. Another family’s daughter is returning for a second year at a Thunder Bay high school and the opportunities — and risks — the city offers. This is what people are saying about the problems Indigenous students are encountering in Thunder Bay: – CBC
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Well, if you want to send your teen to Winnipeg, one of the other cities that vies for the title of Murder Capital of Canada every year, fine.
I believe violence against indigenous people in Thunder Bay is largely caused by other indigenous people and THAT is what I think the city’s problem is. THAT is why I would not send my child to Thunder Bay to attend high school. Its the people that the kids end up befriending. Alcohol, drugs and absolutely nothing to do is a bad mix. It does not matter what city you end up living in.
Winnipeg can’t be any better. They have gangs there.
Hundreds of young indigenous children are attempting suicide in their northern communities. Nobody seems to be mentioning that. Why is THAT happening? What causes so many young people to want to kill themselves?
All the problems in the indigenous community are being blamed on everyone else but the indigenous community itself. Nothing will change until the indigenous people take responsibility for their plight. Nothing. Solutions start in the home.
It seems like every week, the Thunder Bay Police are looking for a missing teen. Why is that? Young people have to act in a responsible manner as well. That is not happening.
The Thunder Bay Police Department are not baby sitters. Don’t expect them to be.