A Canadian Tire staff member who physically removed an Indigenous man from a store in Regina is no longer with the company, a spokesperson said Sunday.
Kamao Cappo of the Muscowpetung First Nation posted a video to social media last week that appears to show him being pushed by a store employee who accused him of shoplifting.
A spokeswoman for Canadian Tire said the employee in the video “has not been working in the store since the time of the incident and he is no longer with (the company).”
Cappo, 53, said he was relieved to hear the news.
“I feel that Canadian Tire is starting to make some movements in the right direction,” he said.
“At least it sends a message to other people who think they can manhandle their customers.”
The incident sparked online outrage and about 40 people staged a demonstration outside of the store Friday to show support for Cappo, who has said he was discriminated against because he is Indigenous.
Cappo was in the store buying a chainsaw, an extra chain and oil. But when he was at the checkout, he realized he had the wrong model and took the goods to customer service where he put the chain and oil inside the saw box for ease of handling by the clerk.
Cappo has said that when he went to look for the right model he was approached by an employee who accused him of trying to shoplift, pushed him against some shelves and physically removed him from the store when he wouldn’t leave.
He said he has a heart condition and was injured in the confrontation. He said he filed a complaint with police and is hoping the employee will be charged.
Cappo said he’ll continue to press the issue in the hopes of making a difference for other Indigenous people.
“Do you know how damaging it is to our children to be treated in this manner? And nobody’s doing anything about it,” he said. ”We need to start doing something.”
Bobby Cameron, the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, says racial profiling against Indigenous people still happens regularly.
“It happens every day,” Cameron said in a phone interview. ”The second a First Nation walks into a door, there’s eyes on them — accusing eyes.”
While he’s happy the Canadian Tire employee is no longer with the company, he says all sectors of society need more cross-cultural awareness training to address wider issues of profiling and discrimination.
“We need all those customer outlets such as Canadian Tire, (as well as) gas stations, hotels, police, health, education, the justice system — all those people and individuals need a serious crash course on First Nation traditions and protocols,” he said.