Manitoba chiefs want teacher Brad Badiuk fired for 'hateful' comments
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are demanding the "immediate termination" of Winnipeg high school teacher Brad Badiuk for controversial comments that were posted on social media earlier this month.
Badiuk posted remarks on Facebook about First Nations people in general, and specifically mentioned AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
"We're not going to stand for racism or hatred towards our people," Kevin Hart, who works with the assembly, told CBC News on Thursday.
"Any teacher with these views towards any ethnic group, you know, does not not deserve to be a teacher."
Nepinak declined to comment on camera, but in a news release he said it's "appalling" to think that children may be "subjected to this kind of thinking."
“When we are subjecting our children to an individual whose comments display ignorance and prejudicial attitudes that may cross the line into racist rants and potential hate speech, we have a responsibility to ensure our children are
safe and to bring immediate and corrective actions," Nepinak states in the release.
The controversy started when another teacher posted an article on her Facebook page about John Ralston Saul's book, The Comeback, which contends that repairing the relationship between First Nations peoples and the rest of Canada is a pressing issue.
In response, Badiuk put these posts (taken verbatim) on Facebook, "Oh Goddd how long are aboriginal people going to use what happened as a crutch to suck more money out of Canadians? The benefits the aboriginals enjoy from the white man/europeans far outweigh any wrong doings that were done to a concured people."
Another line read, "Get to work, tear the treaties and shut the FKup already. My ancestor migrated here early 1900's they didn't do anything. Why am I on the hook for their cultural support?"
About Nepinak, Badiuk wrote: "He wears feathers on his head and calls himself the Grand Chief. You see he had an idea. Indians have no money. You have money. So he could get his hands on your money, that would solve the problem of indians without money."
Teacher on leave
Badiuk is currently on leave from his job as the electronics teacher at Kelvin High School as the school division investigates the matter.
Calls to Badiak were not returned on Thursday.
Nepinak's lawyer told CBC News that the assembly will file a defamation lawsuit on behalf of aboriginal people for Badiak's remarks, which the group believes are racist and hateful.
But Robert Tapper, a Winnipeg-based media and defamation lawyer, says he does not think the AMC has a strong case.
"If you wanted my 'armchair defamation media lawyer' view, no, I didn't see anything defamatory there," said Tapper, who is not involved in this case.
"I saw some very difficult comments that are likely going to be the subject of some legal proceedings, but I don't think defamation is one of them."
When asked if Badiuk's comments constitute hate speak, Tapper replied, "That kind of stuff is just ignorant, it's dumb, it's stupid. I don't think it makes it hate speech though."