Winnipeg Mayor Candidate Don Woodstock Says Indigenous Men Cause Violence Against Indigenous women
Woodstock made controversial remarks Thursday evening at a forum organized by the Council of Winnipeg Women and held at the John Osborn unit of the Army Navy Air Force Veterans, in Polo Park.
All of the candidates were provided the same questions, in advance, about how they would improve public safety, Winnipeg Transit and housing for women in this city.
When it was Woodstock's turn, he said "Aboriginal" men don't respect Indigenous women, and that is why there is violence against Indigenous women.
"In my view, in what I've seen and what I hear, Indigenous men and youths need to come to the table to solve this problem of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This is the link," Woodstock said.
"In most cases, if you talk to them and listen to them and listen how they view and value women, it's not the same as how I view and value women."
"Why do some youngsters see themselves as the only thing that is good for them is to have multiple wives, multiple sweethearts, multiple mothers, multiple families?" he asked, adding he does not believe his opinion is controversial. "I'm giving you my view of what I've seen."
Fellow mayoral candidates Jenny Motkaluk, Rick Shone and Shaun Loney condemned Woodstock's comments as racist.
Candidate Rana Bokhari briefly walked out when Woodstock made his comments. 'Disgraceful, disrespectful, completely inaccurate. I don't think I needed to sit here and listen to him spew that absolute disgraceful, disrespectful, completely inaccurate, factually incorrect, perpetuating-more-violence-against-women comment," she said, adding Woodstock should have been asked to leave the forum.
"When you victimize some of the most vulnerable people in the city, you should go. This isn't the place for you."
Robert-Falcon Ouellette, the only Indigenous candidate at the forum, arrived too late to hear Woodstock's comment.
"A true Indigenous male who respects what it means to be Indigenous and follows the Indigenous philosophy and the warrior way of life has a lot of respect for the whole family," he said.