I Like That

I Like That
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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Red Ball

“Do you know about the red ball?” I said.

I held the woman’s Indian Status card in my hand. There was one other guest at my Target cashier’s station at that moment.

“No,” she said.

“We are happy to remove the provincial and government services taxes from your purchase today, but you must allow us to carry your packages and receipt out to the red ball,” I said.

“What is the red ball?” she said.

“The red ball sits on Campbell River Band land and if you agree to meet the Target person there we can exempt you from paying taxes,” I said.

“Oh. Okay,” she said.

Target Red 
The overhead public address system announced my request. “Walk out on four, please. Walk out on four.” The response came back, “Sheila will be right there.” Everyone employed at this Campbell River Target store knows that a walk out means to carry the guest's purchased goods and the receipt to the designated location of the distinctive cairn.

A young work colleague walked toward me swinging a bright orange visibility vest over her shoulders. The guest was filling out the government form that detailed her band number and her personal information. When she was finished, she handed the slip of paper back to me.

Target cairn in the distance
I thanked her and turned to Sheila. “This is our guests first red ball experience. Can you take her there or at least show her where it is?”

“Yes, of course,” she said. “It’s a big red ball just across from the sandwich shop at the end of this building.” A picture of the distinct brand marker came into my head.

With Target leaving Campbell River I’m wondering if who ever takes over the retail space will offer the same privilege to our First Nation and Metis friends.

Susan the Cashier

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