Thunder Bay, Ontario - More than seven indigenous teenagers' bodies have been pulled from the McIntyre river since 2000. The fear among Indigenous residents, where rumours of a serial killer are rampant, is palpable. Many refuse to go anywhere near city waterways. Some parents have been pushed into agonizing decisions: to keep their high school-aged children home in isolated communities, where they may be safe, but cannot attend high school. Systemic racism is said to have rot through the institutions in Thunder Bay. From the police to local city government.
Indigenous youth often travel to Thunder Bay because of it's city services. From education to medicine, youth are sent there from remote fly in communities, often staying with family or friends. An inquest was called into investigate the systemic racism throughout the police department.

Graffiti on a train bridge over the McIntyre River in Thunder Bay.

Graffiti on a train bridge over the McIntyre River in Thunder Bay.

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Rainy River First Nations Chief Jim Leonard is helping to spearhead and bankroll inquiries and lawsuits against the police who failed at investigating community member's disappearances and deaths.

Rainy River First Nations Chief Jim Leonard is helping to spearhead and bankroll inquiries and lawsuits against the police who failed at investigating community member's disappearances and deaths. 



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Lake Superior, the body of water that all of Thunder Bay's flowing rivers empty into.
Lake Superior, the body of water that all of Thunder Bay's flowing rivers empty into.
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Ardelle Sagutcheway and her brother Max Kakekagumick relax with Ardelle's niece and nephew.  Ardelle often acts a den mother and helps raise family's children.
Ardelle Sagutcheway and her brother Max Kakekagumick relax with Ardelle's niece and nephew. Ardelle often acts a den mother and helps raise family's children.
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People gather for the final day of a seven day healing walk from Robinson-Superior Treaty area to Mount McKay. The seventh day of the walk was to pay tribute to battling racism.
People gather for the final day of a seven day healing walk from Robinson-Superior Treaty area to Mount McKay. The seventh day of the walk was to pay tribute to battling racism.
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The Bear Clan Patrol, a volunteer community watch group, looks for signs of life near a downtown Thunder Bay overpass, along the banks of the McIntyre river on June 30, 2017. The patrol group ensures everyone they come across makes it safely to a bed or shelter for the night and is hoping fill in the gaps where the city police won't help. 

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A memorial for 17-year-old Tammy Keeash. Keeash was the sixth First Nations teen to be found dead in a river in Thunder Bay since 2000. Questions were raised about the quality of Thunder Bay police investigations and the 'no foul play' determination during an inquest into the other five drownings.
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Poet Thatcher Bannon, from the nearby Fort William First Nation, now lives in Thunder Bay. She wrote and performed a spoken-word poem on Facebook about recently deceased Josiah Beggs, 14, and went viral with as many views on Facebook as there are people in Thunder Bay (146,000). The poem, by Thatcher Rose, a 21-year-old member of the Fort William First Nation, drove home to anyone of any colour the singular horror of the drowning death of a child. It calls to mind what one local remarked after seeing Josiah’s mother visit the McIntyre: “I never knew it was possible for someone to cry so hard.” That is where Rose’s poem ends.
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Justin Byers dances at the First Nation "Heartbeat of Our Nation" powwow on Mount McKay
Justin Byers dances at the First Nation "Heartbeat of Our Nation" powwow on Mount McKay
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16-year-old Brandon Esquega trains with Peter Panetta at The Underground Gym in Thunder Bay. Peter runs, with the help of donations, a gym to keep the youth active and engaged in boxing. Kicked out of schools for fighting, Brandon can channel his energy into advancing in a sport, and even teaching youth in boxing clinics.
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Following the 'Heartbeat of our Nation' July 1 Pow wow, children look out on Thunder Bay from atop Mount McKay on Fort William First Nation
Following the 'Heartbeat of our Nation' July 1 Pow wow, children look out on Thunder Bay from atop Mount McKay on Fort William First Nation
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