September 13, 2016 - Following is a clarification statement from City Clerk John Hannam, who manages the City's Aboriginal Liaison Office and was the executive producer of the Walk A Mile film series:

"Today, CBC aired anonymous comments regarding a Walk A Mile training session in July and attributed to a facilitator hired by the City.

Racism exists in Canadian society and therefore in all Canadian communities including Thunder Bay. The Walk A Mile film series presents challenging material and the whole point is to encourage those difficult conversations within the safety of a training session. The idea is to foster discussion in our community about the issues we face and to creative positive change.

Since 2014, over 1000 people have taken training in Walk A Mile films designed to foster discussion in our community, and encourage individuals to examine their own views and attitudes around the issues presented in the films. The response from participants and the many organizations that have hosted the training have been overwhelmingly positive.

We appreciate the suggestion from Michelle Derosier, creator of the Walk A Mile films, that we discuss with the community our approach and use of the films. We will discuss the form that will take with Michelle and others.

The report incorrectly stated the facilitators had no contact from the City after the session. There were, in fact, two debrief sessions with all Walk A Mile facilitators and individual follow-up- the object of which was to support and assist the facilitators in their challenging work and to provide an opportunity to address any concerns.

The Walk A Mile training is hard work for the participants and facilitators, and it's through that hard work that change happens. As participants watch and discuss the films, it is hoped that those discussions are enough to help them begin their journey of reflection. Collectively, this leads to community change."

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Contact:       John Hannam, City Clerk, 625-2238