December 03, 2023

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For Mother’s Day this year, Barbara Kay went on a Twitter tirade, sharing her uninformed and outdated racist views on Indigenous issues with the world. Kay is a Canadian media figure with a lengthy career in journalism, most notably as a columnist with The National Post and as a contributor to the conservative publication, The Rebel. She is also the mother of Jonathan Kay former Editor of the Walrus Magazine who resigned after the fallout from defending writer; Hal Niedzviecki who had also just resigned as Editor of the Writers’ Union of Canada magazine last Wednesday after complaints about an opinion piece in which he wrote that he doesn’t believe in cultural appropriation. Is it time for Barbara Kay to resign too?

Social media is now a big game changer in the way society spreads information and whose voices get heard. Prominent Anishinaabe media critic, Jesse Wente summed it up perfectly in an interview with CBC, “We’re in a new paradigm where Indigenous voices are louder because of social media. We don’t have to occupy chairs in mainstream news media to have our voices heard. We can do this in another way and that is not going to change. So the reality is: this IS the new reality. When these issues come up they will be called out, repeatedly.” Never be afraid to speak up! If anything, Indigenous, Black and minority voices need to do so now more than ever, because we still see too much of this. Here are some of the highlights of Sunday’s ugly tirade and the word warriors who shut them down:

How it all started: 

Then there was that time when she thought children forced to attend residential schools were ‘better off’ than living at home in their communities:

According to Barb, “culture” wasn’t a ‘thing’ before the European settlers arrived. For Barb this false argument and nonsensical contradiction justifies colonial legislated policy targeted against children to eradicate their culture.

The term “genocide” was too much for her, despite the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

Was Barbara Kay having Mother’s Day Tea with Senator Lynn Beyak who recently made similar statements?

Before spewing her “narrative of total evil” Barb admitted she did not even bother to read the TRC report:

Tanya Tagaq was as tongue in cheek as one can be (also see more of Kay’s ignorance):

Kay got schooled in some history: 

Daniel Heath Justice told it like it is:

Inuk filmmaker, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril also spelled it out:

And from MUSKRAT Magazine Editor, Rebeka Tabobondung:


While Kay did have the right to express her opinions she still needs to be held accountable for the impacts of their misinformation, hate and racism – and that’s exactly what happened by the many Indigenous voices and allies who spoke up and shut her down. Canadian institutions and media organizations should now do the same.


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About The Author

Erica Commanda

Born in Toronto, Erica Commanda (Algonquin/Ojibwe) grew up in the small community of Pikwakanagan. From there she moved across Canada living in Ottawa, Vancouver and now Toronto, working in the bar/hospitality industry, mastering the art of listening to stories from her regulars while slinging and spilling drinks (at them or to them). And now through a series of random decisions and events in life she is on a journey discovering and mastering her own knack for storytelling as Associate Editor for MUSKRAT Magazine.

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1 Comment

  1. Emily Lockhart

    Thank you for your time, and cateloging all of what was said. This has to be told and explained, unfortunately so many times.
    With pressure of social media, we all can be held responsible. It is always hard, and exhusting to speak and defend, especially when up against giants of media.
    You are supported, you have all walks of life out there who agree with you and appreciate what you do.


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