Acting police chief, city councillors among attendees at funeral for First Nations woman hit by trailer hitch
'Every minority should be looking over their shoulder,' city's anti-racism commitee chair says
The death of Barbara Kentner is a wake-up call about the threat posed by racism in Thunder Bay, Ont., says the chair of the city's anti-racism committee.
A funeral was held for Kentner on Wednesday. The 34-year-old member of Wabigoon Lake First Nation was struck by a trailer hitch thrown from a passing car in Thunder Bay in January.
Her family told CBC News that Kentner never recovered from the injuries she suffered in what they believe was a hate crime.
"She could have been my child, and what I'm praying and hoping is that her death is the straw that will break the camel's back and bring all these senseless acts to an end," said Amina Abu-Bakara, the chair of Thunder Bay's anti-racism and respect committee.
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"I love Thunder Bay, but moments like this make you question your sanity and what I am exposing my children to. It really bothers me," she added as tears streamed down her face after the funeral.
"She was taken from us too soon, we all know that," said one of Kentner's aunts who got up to speak during the open mic portion of the funeral. "It has been really hard on the family."
Two city councillors — Shelby Ch'ng and Linda Rydholm — read scriptures during the service. Coun. Joe Virdiramo was also in attendance, along with acting police chief Sylvie Hauth.
Kentner's death constitutes a hate crime — something that must concern everyone in the city, Abu-Bakare said.
"Now it's First Nations or the Indigenous people, then how far will they go?" she said. "Every minority should be looking over their shoulder. We're not all safe in the city."
Brayden Bushby, 18, was charged with aggravated assault in the case in January.