Parents of First Nations students in Thunder Bay are on edge this week as school resumes while police investigate an abduction and sexual assault of a First Nations woman last month — and amid reports her assailants said they'd attack again.
An organizer with a First Nations advocacy group says they’ve received a flood of messages from parents concerned their children could become the next target.
"The message that we put out is to be mindful that these two individuals are still at large and please have a plan, talk to your children," said Joyce Hunter, an organizer with the local Idle No More campaign.
The director of Lakehead University's Aboriginal Awareness Centre agreed.
Jackie Alto said safety plans are critical, but it's also important not to let concerns fuel hatred.
"It's really easy to point the fingers, but it's only a minority of people who go out of their way to hurt other people," she said. "There are precautions to be made, but there's no hysteria to be made from that either."
Alto said a safety plan includes making sure someone knows when a person goes out and when that person is expected to return.