Ramona Big Head. Still image: University of Lethbridge
Canada | Health

Government worker suspended after calling Native principal a 'rabid s----'

An employee of Alberta Health Services in Canada has been suspended and a second is being investigated in connection with a racist text message.

The employee called Ramona Big Head, the principal of a school on the Kainai First Nation, a "rabid squaw" in a message that was accidentally sent to another Native woman. Alberta's Health Minister Sarah Hoffman promised "consequences" for those involved.

"I am angry and disappointed that a public employee would use such hateful and racist language," Hoffman said in a statement quoted by the media. The CEO of Alberta Health Services, a government agency, also apologized.

The text was sent after the Kainai First Nation hosted a training session on the reserve for government employees on June 19. Canada celebrated National Aboriginal Day on June 21.

Read More on the Story:
Alberta Health Services worker suspended for texting racial slur about Indigenous school principal (CBC 6/22)
Kainai Nation protesting Alberta Health Services over discriminatory comment (The Lethbridge News 6/22)
Alberta Health minister vows action after employee’s alleged use of racist slur (The Globe and Mail 6/22)
Text with slur from government representative outrages southern Alberta First Nation (CP 6/22)
Indigenous Albertans say provincial employee's racial slur 'really horrible' but not surprising (CBC 6/23)
Second person under investigation by AHS over racial slur aimed at Blood member (The Calgary Sun 6/23)
Kainai Board of Education demanding action after racial slur (The Lethbridge Herald 6/23)

An Opinion:
Valerie Fortney: Racial slurs hurt all, but prompt some to action (The Calgary Herald 6/24)