Backlash against RQHR for posting racist job ad, community calls for VP resignation

Click to play video: 'RQHR apologizes for discriminatory job ad'
RQHR apologizes for discriminatory job ad
WATCH ABOVE: RQHR apologizes for discriminatory job ad – Jul 6, 2016

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is in damage control mode after posting a job ad singling out indigenous peoples.

READ MORE: Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region issues apology, removes racist job ad online

“We simply failed to screen the document before it was posted on our ad,” RQHR vice-president of human resources, Mike Higgins said, while admitting he’s taking responsibility.

Many students at First Nations University felt the post targeted them and reinforced the racism they deal with on an on-going basis.

An image of the original job ad posted online by RQHR. File / Global News

“It makes me feel bad inside,” second-year Cree language studies student Kevin Bear said.

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“Personally, I’ve experienced racism within all areas of my life,” Crystal Norris said, who’s a third-year student in the bachelor of education program.

“A lot of people are definitely ignorant towards the history of Canada and why our people are struggling,” she added.

RQHR says the post has been removed but originated from a job description last used in 2003.

However, new procedures are being put in place to avoid this from happening again.

“I apologize to all indigenous people and to the general public for this very unfortunate and grave occurrence,” Higgins said.

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Elder Noel Starblanket who also teaches Aboriginal sensitivity training at the University of Regina argues it’s evidence that racism exists and now, the proof is in writing.

“They hide it, you know they hide it very well. And this one got away on them and it got found out,” he said.

Starblanket also says RQHR needs to reach out to the indigenous community and make sure corrective action is taken to make sure Higgins is held accountable.

However, Higgins says he will not be resigning as he doesn’t believe the event warrants his resignation.

It’s another decision Norris says sends another wrong message, but one that will not deter her.

“It just makes me want to push that much harder to prove them wrong.”


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