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Fallout After Racist Message, Tribal Chief Calls for Boycott of ACD.net

Brenda Austin
6/3/14

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, is calling for a boycott of Lansing-based firm ACD.net, whose Chief Financial Officer Kirk Shewchuck left a voicemail laced with racial slurs and vulgarities after apparently not hanging up his phone properly.

The message was left for Saginaw Chippewa Planning Engineer Donald Seal on May 6.

RELATED: ‘Those F**king Indians’ – Sag Chip Receives Racist Message

Public Relations Director for the tribe, Frank Cloutier, said the call from ACD.net was their initial outreach to the tribe to establish a relationship in hopes of gaining access to the tribe’s trust property through an easement for the use of cell phone towers. “Because there was a veiled threat of scrambling our cell use and interrupting our business, the voicemail has been handed over to our tribal police department for further investigation and our legal department is looking into the possibility of filing a lawsuit,” Cloutier said.

Here is the part of the voicemail in question:

“Hi Don, this is Kirk Shewchuck at ACD.net and we wanted to talk to you about our plans to put so many cell towers you know close to the casino there. I think you called in here earlier, again my name is Kirk at ACD.net and my phone number is …. I’d appreciate a call. Thank you, bye.

We’ll see what happens, those f**king Indians let’s call them red man, I was listening to the radio on the way in this morning and you can’t use red man in the paper because…..You know what the f**k you let’s sic the Sault Tribe on you, let’s get a good old fashioned Indian woo woo woo woo woo woo (laughter) around in Michigan the one they would be leery of are Huron Indians – the Huron Indians wiped out most of the other tribes – the Huron’s were the motorcycle gangs, the rest of them were on horses (laughter) I’m serious, the rest of the Indians here were farmers – it’s pretty cool we should put a tribal elder….on the reservation there – we should call them back – I might go up there and go like this….are you the guy – did you hear about the guy with the cell phone camera who got arrested….and then the police walked up to him and it shut off their signal and they couldn’t radio in….Go up to the reservation and so you don’t want a wireless tower here you know what happens to your cell phone signals (laughter) I’ll turn it back on in a few minutes after you agree to – maybe they would like that – you know they can’t talk on their cell phones  at the casino they would spend more time there but maybe the opposite would be true and they keep leaving to check their cell phones…wouldn’t that be cool…and their cell phones….

To hear the entire two-minute four second audio conversation, go to www.sagchip.org.

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Chi Mukwa's picture
Chi Mukwa
Submitted by Chi Mukwa on
Yup, if it was a company that I did business with, well, they would have lost a customer the moment I heard this news. This is a racially motivated threat, and it sure looks like they were planning on blackmailing the tribe when you consider the threat of turning the cell towers off, wonder if the fed's will take a closer look at this company? Sure hope they do.

livingawake's picture
livingawake
Submitted by livingawake on
One effective way that this could be dealt with is by creating a petition on Change.org to boycott and/or send letters expressing outrage to ACD.net. Change.org is a powerful international platform to bring a public light to such disrepect. If Chief Steve Pego has been quoted accurately, one thing though I would invite him to consider is how he also subtly conveyed similar messages in his statement: "I would ask that all Native Americans and other minority groups stand with us in denouncing Mr. Kirk Shewchuck and ACD.net." Respectfully, why would you only call upon Native Americans and minority groups? Do you not believe that there are other skin colors that would agree with you that this is not the way to treat other human beings? All humans in many different ways experience injustices, pain and suffering. Call upon humanity to step up and act in a different manner. All is sacred and this is not a way to treat others.
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