Toronto – After the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario invited the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to intervene in the case of Gallant v Mississauga, the OHRC reached a settlement with the City of Mississauga and the Applicant, Bradley Gallant. The settlement addresses the harmful impact of stereotypes on Indigenous youth by requiring Mississauga to remove from its sports facilities all Indigenous-themed mascots, symbols, names and imagery related to non-Indigenous sports organizations.
In 2015, the Honourable Murray Sinclair noted the profound impact that stereotypes in sports have on young Indigenous people. And in 2015, Mr. Gallant, an Indigenous man and father, complained to the City of Mississauga about the use and display of Indigenous-themed logos and team names in its sports arenas. The OHRC conducted extensive outreach with Indigenous peoples to learn more about the impact of this use, and heard directly from youth across the province through the Indigenous Youth Council of the Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres.
The OHRC intervened to amplify the perspectives and voices of Indigenous youth and to highlight the harmful impact of stereotypes on youth.
In the settlement, the City of Mississauga has committed to:
- Remove from its sports facilities all Indigenous-themed mascots, symbols, names and imagery related to non-Indigenous sports organizations.
- Develop a policy on the use of Indigenous images and themes at its sports facilities, in collaboration with different groups such as the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Peel Aboriginal Network, the Indigenous Youth Council of the Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres and Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario.
- Supplement its Diversity and Inclusion training with expanded material addressing reconciliation and Indigenous peoples.
“Mississauga has agreed to take important steps to show leadership and a commitment to reconciliation,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane. “This settlement reflects our efforts to bring to light the impact that stereotypes have on Indigenous youth. It also sets a positive path forward for other municipalities to follow.”
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Communications and Issues Management
Ontario Human Rights Commission