A northern Manitoba chief is demanding an apology from a hunting and fishing lodge for its "racist and discriminatory" promotional materials, which urge visitors not to give alcohol to native guides.
Chief Arlen Dumas says statements in the brochure for the Laurie River Lodge, which hires locals from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, are unacceptable.
“The statements are so outrageous,” said Chief Dumas. “Not only does he [the lodge owners] offend the very people that provide him his livelihood … he insults all indigenous people in North America.”
A letter from Dumas to Laurie River Lodge owners Brent and Erin Fleck that's titled “Racist and Discriminatory Content in your Promotional Brochure” reprimands them for “racist stereotypes” in the brochure.
“We take great care when hiring our staff; however the subject of Native Guides must be touched upon,” the brochure reads. “We use Cree Indian guides from the town of Pukatawag[a]n in northern Manitoba. They are wonderful people and fun to fish with however, like all Native North Americans, they have a basic intolerance for alcohol.
"Please do not give my guides alcohol under any circumstances. This is rarely a problem and by telling you in advance I hope to avoid it altogether.”
Selina Mandamin, from Shoal Lake First Nation, said she knows many fishing guides and is offended by the statement.
“Guiding is more like to do with the nature and not consuming alcohol and all that. No. I don't think that is right to put that down there,” she said.
Dumas also says in his letter that the lodge singled out members of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation band and “presented an ominous or threatening tone.”
He said the brochure perpetuates stereotypes about Cree people having a genetic intolerance for alcohol, and demands any offensive aspects be removed from the lodge's website and materials. He also wants an apology issued to all Cree and indigenous peoples.
Dumas told the CBC on Wednesday afternoon that the owners of the lodge are operating on traditional territory and using Mathias Colomb Cree Nation natural resources and guides to their benefit.
Read the Dumas letter in full, as well as reaction from Facebook users on the Laurie River Lodge page below.
As of Wednesday evening, the lodge owners hadn't returned CBC's calls.