The Ricky’s All-Day Grill location in Nanaimo’s north end. (News Bulletin photo)

Artist from Fort Langley who alleged racial profiling at Nanaimo restaurant wants end to dispute

Brandon Gabriel says customer service he received was different than other patrons

It wasn’t just a kerfuffle over creamers, according to a prominent First Nations artist from Fort Langley.

Brandon Gabriel’s dining experience at a Nanaimo Ricky’s All-Day Grill location was all over Facebook this week after he alleged racial profiling at the restaurant.

Gabriel, who now lives in Nanaimo, went out for brunch on Tuesday morning (Feb. 4) with his three-year-old daughter and brother-in-law.

After the child drank all the coffee creamers that had been set out on the table, Gabriel said he asked for more creamers and a coffee refill.

He said he was denied the creamers, told they were for coffee, not for children to drink. A couple at the adjacent table then asked for more creamers and their request was granted.

“I felt that there was a discriminatory-motivated excuse for [staff’s] actions,” said Gabriel, a member of the Kwantlen First Nation, who e-mailed a statement to Black Press.

He asked to speak to a manager and he said the incident escalated into a “very confrontational situation” that made him emotional and upset. His Facebook post from that day, in which he alleged racial profiling, has been shared nearly 2,000 times as of Sunday afternoon (Feb. 9).

In the posting, Gabriel said he “indicated I am willing to pay for the extra creamers and they could just add it to my bill” but the manager refused.

“[She said] that creamers are not an item they can charge for, but I had abused their policy about it, and therefore was no longer able to have it served at my table.”

Ricky’s provided an e-mailed statement, saying “we take matters such as the incident reported … extremely seriously” and that it has been investigated.

“We would like to take this opportunity to state that while this incident was unfortunate, causing concern among guests at the restaurants and our loyal Ricky’s patrons across Canada, that no racial-oriented language or actions occurred by our staff. We apologize for any miscommunication or misinterpretation of the events,” the statement concludes.

Gabriel said he respectfully disagrees with the restaurant’s response.

“The debacle was hurtful for all involved, and nobody involved in the matter will come out of this feeling absolved by the event in a meaningful or conciliatory way by the looks of it at this juncture,” Gabriel said. “But I do wish that it ends on a much more respectful note.”

He told another media organization earlier this week that he wished for a public apology and a refund on his meal, but told Black Press that for reasons of privacy and a love for the Nanaimo community, he doesn’t want more negative attention on the matter.

“We wish to bring forth an end to this incident that occurred at Ricky’s Restaurant in north Nanaimo in a good way,” Gabriel said.

On Monday, Gabriel said “online social commentary sections of media sites across the country are littered with statements that are false and misleading about my experience with my family at a restaurant in Nanaimo.”

He complained coverage of the case by Black Press and other media outlets was “designed to entice readers into galvanizing opinions, and nothing more.”

“The narrative created sets readers up for an alarmist aura around a situation that is being handled respectfully, tactfully, and amicably by both parties in the situation,” Gabriel went on to say.

Gabriel, a member of the Kwantlen First Nation in Langley, recently went to court to sue Langley Township Councillor Eric Woodward for defamation.

READ ALSO: Kwantlen artist sues Langley Township councillor for defamation

Gabriel, who is the nephew of Kwantlen Chief Marilyn Gabriel, is also one of the people who presented a petition last year that called for an end to hereditary rule and for the Langley-area band to work together on a change in governance.

READ ALSO: Mediator appointed after petition calls for Kwantlen governance change

The Kwantlen First Nation has just under 300 members, many of them related.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Indigenous peoplesLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Familiar name McFrugal’s returns to Langley’s retail landscape

The discount store is opening at the end of the month in the former Army and Navy location

COVID puts kibosh on Langley Rams football season

Club president hopes older players won’t lose out because of lost season

Bells ring out in Langley City to honour atomic bombing victims

Local people take part in Bells for Peace, an international event on bombings’ 75th anniversary

Construction underway on Langley’s new hospice residence

The new 15-bed facility is slated for completion in summer 2021

T-Rex earns big bids at Langley dino auction

More than 500 dino-themed items sold to buyers from across North America

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

Most Read