Winnipeg community centre fires worker for hurling racial slur at boy

The Champlain Community Centre in Winnipeg is apologizing to an indigenous mother after her teenage son was called a "stupid f---ing Indian" by an employee while waiting for a ride after school on Thursday.

Champlain Community Centre says it has terminated employee in question

The Champlain Community Centre told CBC News late Friday it has apologized to Lisa Harper for an incident in which an employee hurled a racial slur at her son. (Google Street View)

A Winnipeg community centre is apologizing to a mother after her teenage son was called a "stupid f---ing Indian" by an employee while waiting for a ride after school.

Lisa Harper says her 14-year-old son was with his friends just after 3 p.m. Thursday on the field outside Champlain Community Centre, which backs onto the school he attends, when a worker yelled at them to get off the grounds.

Harper said she learned of the incident a few minutes later, when she arrived at the school to pick her son up.

"I got a call from him and he just said, 'Mom, the guy in the park called me a stupid f---ing Indian,' and my son was just really upset, he couldn't even talk," she said Friday afternoon.

Harper said she doesn't know what could have prompted the remark. She added that a community centre supervisor who later approached her on the field tried to deflect the issue.

"'Why would your guy call my son a stupid f---ing Indian?' Like, why? What's going on?" she said.

"I didn't get an answer [as to] why somebody would do that to a child. It didn't make sense to me."

Employee no longer working at centre

The community centre issued the following statement to CBC News on Friday evening:

"The board at Champlain Community Centre has reviewed the incident reported in your interview with Ms. Harper earlier this afternoon. The board take these types of incidents very seriously and has contacted Ms. Harper and offered our apology. While we are unable to comment on human resources matters, the individual in question is no longer working at our community centre."

Harper said it wasn't clear why the employee in question wanted her son off the community centre grounds.

She wanted both the worker and the supervisor terminated. Harper says she still hasn't received an apology directly from the community centre.

"I think that somebody like this just can't work with children. Like, you don't do this to children. You don't call them names. You don't try and intimidate them, and being racist is just vile on so many levels," she said.

"You scared my child. He was shaking. You scared him. And the supervisor, on top of that — the man that approached me — [was] so aggressive and condoning this kind of behaviour. I think they should be removed."