Fata Apologizes for online comments

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Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Councillor, Ward 5, Frank Fata, met with SaultOnline the afternoon of August 5, 2016 to address comments he recently made in a story posted on SaultOnline.com.

The story covered a peaceful protest that took place on Thessalon First Nation territory, July 27, 2016. A group of demonstrators, who were all members of Thessalon First Nation, had set up blockades heading into the Thessalon First Nation Band Office.

The Protest lasted for one day, ending at 5:30 pm.

The story can be found here.

A comment made by Fata garnered attention from community members, with some calling the comments as ‘racist’ towards First Nation people.

Fata told SaultOnline, “I deeply regret making the comments, and I wholeheartedly apologize for those comments. I made the comments as an individual, and I, in no way, was representing the City of Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Council.”

SaultOnline asked Mr. Fata about whether or not he has received cultural sensitivity training as part of his work with Municipal Council. “There is cultural sensitivity training being planned for the fall, and hopefully my schedule will allow for me to attend this year.”

Fata stressed that he has much to learn about First Nations culture and is hoping to learn and grow as an individual, as well as a Municipal Councillor. He said, “I welcome any opportunity going forward from this day on, to become better informed about First Nations people living in our immediate geography as well as Canada. I need to hold myself to a higher standard, and this has been a wake-up call for me.”

Fata told SaultOnline that a meeting with Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano is forthcoming.

5 COMMENTS

  1. There seems to be a problem and that problem is. Sensitivity training is need for for all people. First Nations and others. When anyone speaks about any issue and they cannot handle the truth out comes the Race Card which is used to defer from the original argument. Which is the Liberal Agenda.

  2. No slight.. I’ve taken training and it’s opened my eyes to many truths. Hope you consider this opportunity.

  3. This original story was about internal problems on Thessalon First Nation and as soon as a non resident posted a comment.The RACE card was played.

    This was done to take away from the real issue at Thessalon First Nation which is this.

    We don’t have access to the list of members of Thessalon FN, both on and off Reserve. When we requested the membership list, we were told that confidentiality prevented them from giving it to us.” Wabigwan had wanted to reach out to band members, to rally support and mobilize Thessalon FN citizens.

    Wabigwan told saultonline that “an imbalance exists where one family name continually dominates proceedings and decisions made regarding the Thessalon First Nation. It’s never going to change, unless we come together to make it happen.” he said.

    Wabigwan went on to say ” All but one of the members of Band Council are from the same family. We are feeling more and more powerless. We don’t have a voice here. We are asking for transparency to see how Band monies are being spent.”

    “This First Nation largely consists of one family in power” he said “And with only one member on Council not from within their own family, it continues to create an unfair system for decision-making.”

    Wabigwan said, “Victoria Wabigwan, is the one lone voice we have on council that isn’t related to the rest of the Band Council.” He further stated there are continual and ongoing challenges for Band Councillor Victoria Wabigwan, who’s voice, he says, is constantly quashed by a majority of members who are all from within the same family.

    Wabigwan went on to say “We don’t know how to fix this, but we know that it is unfair, and we are advocating for change.”

    Now Call me a racist,as I support these protesters who want transparency in their First Nation Community

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