An indigenous man who previously claimed he was racially profiled inside a Canadian Tire store believes racism is still prevalent in Saskatchewan – and more should be done to counter it.
Kamao Cappo reacted to video posted on social media that showed Ezekial Bigknife – another indigenous man – being followed around at a Giant Tiger store in Regina by an employee recently.
“People are not getting it. Saskatchewan is not getting it. Regina is not getting it. We have a problem here,” Cappo said.
“We have a lot more work to do.”
In July, Cappo posted videos he took while at the Canadian Tire in the east end of Regina, which showed an employee accusing him of shoplifting.
The altercation eventually turned physical, as Cappo was shown to be shoved and pushed.
The company later said the employee was no longer working for Canadian Tire. Regina police also reviewed the incident and ultimately found no criminal charges were warranted.
Months later, Cappo said he doesn’t think much has changed.
“The ones we need to understand are not getting it. They refuse to get it because they’re not feeling it; racism doesn’t exist for them, and really it doesn’t because they don’t feel it. We feel it and we know it’s there,” Cappo said.
“This happens all the time and nobody does anything about it.”
Cappo said perhaps Indigenous people should boycott businesses that show these attitudes.
He added the public needs improved education when it comes to racism, and indicated people need to be brave enough to admit when they’re racist. He said, currently, that doesn’t appear to be happening.
“They’re like an alcoholic who will deny, deny, deny that they’re ever an alcoholic and the problem gets worse and worse.”
The encouraging part, according to Cappo, is that more Indigenous people are beginning to stand up to this sort of behaviour – what he called “bullying” – and are highlighting situations with the help of smartphone cameras and social media.