The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.
IN some ways, Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs’ State of the City address was standard fare — pride in development; careful, targeted spending; looking to the future. But sprinkled throughout his speech at city council this week were new themes that speak to priorities that are important because he’s making them Thunder Bay priorities.
Foremost among these is a determination to live in harmony with First Nations. Whether neighbouring Fort William or distant communities like Webequie, Mayor Hobbs is making it his business to collaborate with aboriginal leaders to make Thunder Bay a more welcoming place.
Having visited four Far North first nations this year, the mayor remarked how warmly he was welcomed. But while “hundreds of people from these communities” come to Thunder Bay each year “for their schooling, medical needs and business,” the welcome isn’t always warm. While “it seems only right that we do whatever we can to work together on a brighter future for all,” left unsaid was the terrible cultural dichotomy that divides the native and non-native communities here. Continue Reading →