A Thunder Bay woman says education could help stop the kind of racist graffiti she found on her garage door this weekend.

Sandra Albertson was surprised to see a racial slur, in bright red spray paint on her garage door Saturday morning. She called police, who told her many homes and fences on the north side of town had also been targeted.

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A photograph of racist graffiti that appeared on Sandra Albertson's garage door over the weekend. CBCNews has blurred out part of the message. (CBC)

Three youths, aged 15 to 18, were arrested the same day.

Albertson said they need to know more about the people they are targeting through their acts of vandalism.

"I think [they need the] opportunity … to live and learn and walk in the shoes of another person and understand about their culture, about their background," she said.

Reaching out to youth helps

Frances Wesley, the co-ordinator for Thunder Bay's Urban Aboriginal Strategy, said racism remains a problem in the city, but reaching out to young people seems to help.

"There are groups in the community here who are working or engaging youth to erase graffiti in Thunder Bay," she said. "So, that's a good project."

Wesley said parents and teachers also have to talk about racism at home — and in the classroom — to deal with the problem.

Albertson said she's not angry but would like the perpetrators to learn a lesson.

"It sure would be nice to see them out there with paintbrushes and cleaning solvents, out there scrubbing the walls and the sidewalks and painting over the graffiti that they actually put," she said.

"I think that might make them think twice about doing it perhaps in the future."

Property owners affected by graffiti can call 211 to get it removed. The city will subsidize part of the cleanup cost.