Wednesday, May 30, 2007


This is just reprehensible [link via Radical Indian.]

Please, register your disgust by contacting Tim Hortons' corporate headquarters at the following:

874 Sinclair Road
Oakville, ON L6K 2Y1
Tel: (905) 845-6511
Fax: (905) 845-0265

EDIT: Human Right for All: No Exceptions - The Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Directed to this page by an A.I. link on the Radical Indian's blog.


Anonymous said...

Tim Hortons should definitely let this staff member go but this whole idea of boycotting the chain is ridiculous. I know several people who work at various locations and they depend on Tim's to help support their family. They don't agree with the comments made by this kid so why punish them for that one ignorant comment?

I read the post at Radical Indian and I agree with the comment that was left - how about we all boycott Indian owned casinos everytime a group of Natives blocks a road or railway and disrupts business' all over the country who have nothing to do with the compaints that the Natives have!

Natalie said...

Anon, the problem with this incident is not just that one employee did something that was hateful; the problem also lies in Tim Hortons' response. As I have pointed out to friends elsewhere, it is wrong for Tim Hortons to tell The Globe and Mail that the whole thing was just an "ill-conceived joke." To couch the incident in those terms lessens the severity of the employee's action! More than just reprimanding and education about the company's harassment policy is needed; this demands zero-tolerance (from the public, as well as from Tim Hortons!) The company must be held to account for its own (relative) inaction just as the employee must be accountable for her action.

As far as boycotting First Nations' businesses, etc., on account of native protests goes, that is an entirely different issue. The First Nations have every right to engage in non-violent tactics of disruption in order to draw attention to the ongoing cultural genocide and human rights abuses committed against them by the Canadian government/the Canadian people! (The U.N. has rightly chastised Canada a number of times for the way the First Nations are treated.) What's going on is not entirely unlike the civil rights movement in the U.S. in the 1960s--except that here and now, far too few people are aware of what's going on. It's only when the flow of goods and services is disrupted--when the lives of non-natives are directly affected--that some people begin to care.

If you want to boycott casinos owned by the First Nations, that's your prerogative. But trains running late (or not at all) or having to take a detour as you drive in your car are not infringements upon your human rights!

Anonymous said...

I assume you don't own your own business because I can assure you that a few days of not receiving our goods can put our business and the future of our employees at serious risk. Those blockades or union strikes or anything where a small group of people affect a very large group of people in a significant way are more than a small annoyance, they can do some serious damage and no one has the right to do that.

Yes, they have a right to draw attention to their issues but not in a way that hurts others.

And let's be honest, there is very little that an average person like me can do to help them. I know that "we can all make a difference if we just make our voice heard" is the right thing to say but it's not true. There are hundreds of other causes crying out for my attention and money and most of them are more worthwhile.

Obviously these issues are huge and complex and include treaties, cultural attitudes and personal responsibility. These blockades will never do a thing to persuade average people like me to support them in any way and I can't imagine that they ever really get what they want through them. They may be appeased for a while, but no real progress will be made in this way.

People don't respond well to bullying and the childish and immature antics that we often see in these blockades or boycotts like this....and we shouldn't respond well. That's not how things get done in a modern society.

Natalie said...

"There are hundreds of other causes crying out for my attention and money and most of them are more worthwhile." --> I'm really sorry you feel that way. I happen to think that the fight for equal rights for members of the First Nations in this country is very important.

And you're right: I don't own my own business; however, I have worked in the retail and service industries (always in non-union positions, unfortunately), and I have been treated like shit by employers (i.e. regularly having to work 8 hour shifts with only ONE fifteen-minute break, which is illegal.) So I definitely disagree with your opinion of union strikes and non-violent blockades.

In making your case, you write, "anything where a small group of people affect a very large group of people in a significant way are more than a small annoyance, they can do some serious damage and no one has the right to do that." Think for a moment about the ratio of owners/administrators of businesses to employees: here is an example of a small group which has the potential to do "some serious damage" to a larger group. By your logic, employers should not be allowed to infringe upon the rights of their employees--and on this I would agree. Thing is, as has been my experience, employers aren't always ethical, or even responsible. What recourse, then, do employees have when their employer doesn't listen to reason, to polite asking, to pleading? What then?

Similarly, what would you have the First Nations do? The racism they face has been around for as long as there have been white people in this country, and there are STILL people like that Tim Hortons' employee, like former Ontario premier Mike Harris, and like those who had a hand in Neil Stonechild's death. And there are STILL situations like the one at Kashechewan (compare how the federal government handled that to how the Ontario government responded to Walkerton.) Since government channels clearly aren't working, what would you have the First Nations do to affect change?

Non-violent (and I stress this part--especially having grown up near Ipperwash) resistance, I believe, is the effective response.

And so I think you and I will have to agree to disagree on this.

Unrelated: would you mind posting under a name? A pseudonym is fine. I just want to be able to identify you/address you, should you visit here again.