A 15-year-old aboriginal girl says she is speaking out against racism in her community after she and her family were refused service in a bowling alley in Wetaskiwin, Alta.
The three arrived looking for a place to sit as the server was cleaning tables, Dennehy said.
Kiara Dennehy and her parents, who live in the nearby First Nation community of Maskwacis, stopped at Western Lanes and Overtime Lounge late last month while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
What Dennehy says she heard next, shocked her.
"She said she doesn't serve native people."
The three quickly left, but Dennehy said she was so upset she needed to speak out. She posted about the experience on a Wetaskiwin facebook page.
“That's the first time I've walked into a store and not being able to be served because of where I'm from and what my background is," she said.
“I think it's nonsense. Like that's somebody saying they don't want to be served by her because she's white. It's just the other way around.”
Western Lanes manager Kristie Wolfe saw the post that night and says she was disappointed to hear that an employee had been accused of making the comment.
"I honestly was absolutely disgusted," she said.
“I've grown up in Wetaskiwin my whole life. This city is very diverse. We have people of all cultures, all walks of life, financially, racially.
“It really disgusted me that someone would go to that point to make somebody uncomfortable.”
Wolfe quickly posted an apology to Dennehy on Facebook.
She later asked the employee for a written statement about the incident.
Server rejects racism allegation
In the statement, the server claims she believed at least one of Dennehy's party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had told them "I am uncomfortable serving a couple of you.”
Wolfe told CBC News the server had been suspended in the past for making racist comments.
The employee is now suspended from dealing with the public, but Wolfe fears no further action will be taken.
She said the company's reputation is at risk and is threatening to quit.
"That reputation whether it's true on not, it's going to be there ... that reputation that we tolerate racism. It's going to tarnish the business and I don't want to be the face of that business."
The owner wants a statement from Dennehy before deciding the next step, Wolfe said.
CBC has requested interviews with the owner and the server, but has so far received no response.
Dennehy said she accepts Wolfe’s apology, but will still think twice before returning to the bowling alley.