Native parents concerned as students return to school in Ontario

Native parents in Ontario are expressing concerns as their children return to school in Thunder Bay, the site of a recent sexual assault of a Native woman and an alleged police brutality incident of a Native student.

Thunder Bay has historically drawn a large number of Native students who are unable to go to school on their reserves due to lack of educational institutions. The recent incidents have prompted a heightened sense of awareness.

“The message that we put out is to be mindful that these two individuals are still at large and please have a plan, talk to your children,” said Joyce Hunter, a local local Idle No More organizer, CBC News reported.

On December 27, 2012, a 36-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in Thunder Bay. She said her attackers used racial epithets and authorities are treating the case as a hate crime.

In a new incident, a 19-year-old student said a police officer dropped him off on the outskirts of Thunder Bay on December 2, 2012. He was forced to walk back to his residence in the city.

Between 2000 and 2011, seven Native students -- six males and one female -- died in Thunder Bay while attending school away from their reserves.

Get the Story:
'Take precautions, avoid hysteria' as police investigate assault (CBC 1/8)
Investigate allegations to avoid 'tragedies,' lawyer says (CBC 1/7)
Report of police mistreatment worries First Nations school official (CBC 1/4)
Mother of First Nations sexual assault victim wants public inquiry (CBC 1/4)

Related Stories:
Sexual assault of Native woman investigated as a hate crime (1/3)
CBC News: Dying for an Education - The case of Charlie Wenjack (9/6)
Inquest called into deaths of First Nations students from Ontario (6/1)

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