The Guardian reports that Johnson has accused the Vancouver Bank of Montreal of racism in complaints at Columbia Human Rights Tribunal Canadian Human Rights Commission.
“It’s affected me a bit,” said Johnson. “When this happened to us, my anxiety just went through the roof. I started counseling again. It’s affected my motivation, my thought process, stuff.”
As reported at the time, Johnson, his granddaughter presented government-issued Indian Status cards, his , and her medical card. The elderly man had been a long-standing account holder at his BMO bank. Thinking there would be no problem in opening a youth account for his granddaughter he said he submitted his paperwork to the clerk. That’s when started. became suspicious and went upstairs with their ID cards and documents. The grandpa remarked:
She said the numbers didn’t match up with what she had on her computer.
Not long ago, Johnson other Heiltsuk community member received reparations from cold, hard, cash. Thirty thousand Canadian dollars to be exact, or almost 23,000 U.S. dollars. The grandpa believes that’s why the clerk called the police. After informing the family their documents retrieved by going upstairs , saw police coming their way. Immediately thereafter the cops informed them they were being detained, they were handcuffed read their rights.
They and grabbed me and my granddaughter, took us to a police vehicle and handcuffed both , told us we were being detained, us our rights…You can see how scared she was…It was really hard that.
Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter have handcuffed of a Bank of Montreal in Vancouver. They went there to open a so he could transfer money to her when she was on the road for basketball games. | @cbcnewsbchttps://t.co/oQhVzKQ9dE
— CBC (@CBC) January 11, 2020
Johnson told local media he believes the was .
“It was so hard my granddaughter taken out of the bank and handcuffed. be scarred from this,” Johnson said in an emotional Facebook post after the Dec. 20 incident.
“At the time just worried … now that had time over this it makes me so mad.”
News of subsequently sparked nationwide backlash and action was planned in protest.
According to the Vancouver , the incident did, in fact, take place. statement, the cops admit the clerk believed indigenous individuals were attempting to commit some crime. But there was no crime at all—just a grandfather trying to open a .
It was determined that there was no criminal activity and no fraudulent transaction.
Unlike of the police departments we cover US, the Canadian PD was quick to issue an apology saying:
It is a regrettable situation, don’t want anybody through anything like this.
The Canadian officers involved had been given cultural sensitivity training yet went ahead and detained the indigenous family nonetheless. Also worth noting was the apology issued by BMO bank.
We value our long and special relationship with Indigenous communities. Recently, occurred that reflect us at . We deeply regret this and unequivocally apologize . We are reviewing what , how handled use this as a learning opportunity. We understand the importance and seriousness of at levels of the bank.
Shame on you Bank of Montreal. Compensate this nice family now for your disgusting behavior. @BMO @ConsumerSOS https://t.co/PMIbe4dSzF
— Sandra Cole (@Sandra_Cole44) January 9, 2020
Canada, , has an equally disturbing history in native individuals some might conclude. Called “Residential Schools”, native Americans from Canada’s provinces were shipped off for Western indoctrination by white men who dominated them. Al Jazeera English created a documentary it calls Canada’s “Dark Secret”. It appears, from the above example, the Johnson family suffering the fallout from such a discriminatory history.