Indigenous man, Regina Canadian Tire store find resolution after incident


A resolution has been found between Kamao Cappo, 53, and the Canadian Tire store from which he was forcibly removed by an employee on July 26, 2017.

A press conference was held Wednesday in Regina with both parties, their legal support, and the chief of the human rights commission.

Cappo, an Indigenous man, was purchasing a chainsaw at a Regina Canadian Tire on Prince of Wales Drive that day. He was told by a manager to leave but when Cappo asked why, the matter escalated and the employee used physical force on him, according to the joint statement of facts.

At the time, Cappo called the incident racially charged and filed a human rights complaint against the store.

A press conference at Regina’s Delta Hotel was the setting of the announcement that both parties had found resolution.

File / Taylor Braat

A resolution between Cappo and the store has been found, but a confidentiality agreement has the details kept secret. Cappo did not confirm or deny a settlement, but Saskatchewan’s human rights chief commissioner David Arnott acknowledged that “most [complainants] receive compensation.”

The store formally acknowledges the hurt suffered by Mr. Cappo as a result of the incident and the force used against him, said owner Francois Brien.

“The store formally apologizes to Mr. Cappo for the incident.”

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“I accept his apology and say ‘thank you,’” Cappo said.

The Canadian Tire store is working to develop a training program at its location. The program will be mandatory for all of its current 92 employees and any future hires. There is currently no timeline for the program’s completion, but Brien’s legal counsel, Andrew Dixon, said it could be done in the fall.

“Mr. Brien’s store offered Mr. Cappo the opportunity to assist in developing a new strategy, a new policy of education for employees focusing on Indigenous history and current issue in the indigenous community,” said Arnott.

Regina Canadian Tire employee who allegedly assaulted an Indigenous man no longer with company

Arnott said the case was solved by the Commission through “restorative justice” rather than its previous “litigation model.” The changes were implemented in 2011.

“I believe this story is a fine example of the power of mediation, the strength of restorative justice, and reconciliation in action,” he said, also noting the dire need for more people to get on board.

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Arnott pointed to an Environics poll from June 2016, suggesting people in Saskatchewan are the most racist towards Indigenous people in Canada.

“In Saskatchewan, we need reconciliation because there is a broken relationship between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples in this province.

“It’s a very deep problem and the roots of that problem are deeply engrained in the fabric of Saskatchewan.

“[Cappo] had the courage to stand up for himself and to stand up and speak out and raise this issue and he did it in a very effective way,” Arnott said.

Cappo said racism is something he experiences every day and expects to “experience it three or four times today, at least. Everywhere I go. Everything I do.”

The employee who removed Cappo from the store was let go but did not receive any charges in the case. That’s one thing that doesn’t sit well with Cappo.

UPDATE: Former Canadian Tire employee accused of assaulting Indigenous man not facing charges

“I would have wanted charges because society needs to know that this is unacceptable. The fact that there is no charges — I mean, what can you say, right? We just need to know that as a society we have to work so these things don’t occur.”

Aside from no charges being laid, Cappo said he’s “satisfied” with how things were resolved.

“People have to be courageous enough to deal with it, and I think that’s what Canadian Tire is doing in this instance.”

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