Woman at Banff National Park Says Man Told Her to ‘Go Back to Your Own Country’

By Victor Westerkamp

An American woman was told to go back to her “own country” when she visited Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

On August 3, the woman who identified herself as Victoria to CTV posted a video right after the event on Twitter and Instagram.

It started when Victoria was waiting in line for the viewing of the falls in Johnston Canyon.  Two men and two women of what appeared to be part of a gang of bikers cut in line and went ahead of everyone else.

Victoria called them rude, but she was allegedly told to “mind your own business.”

After the tour, she met the group again on their way down to the parking lot. She told the group their friend was really rude, she informed CTV.

When she continued asking questions, one man with the do-rag on his head and a black Harley-Davidson shirt made the statement, “Go Back to Your Own Country.”

Victoria who immigrated from Russia more than 20 years ago and who currently lives in New York said, “I still have an accent.” It is unclear where the man who pushed her comes from, most likely Canada, but some said the Harley-Davidson shirts showed South Dakota on the back. It was unclear which “own country” the man wearing the do-rag was referring to.

At that time, Victoria decided to take out her phone and start filming. She told CTV, “I’m half afraid that they’re going to do something.”

“Did you just tell me to go back to my own country? Where is my own country?” she asked.

“Why don’t you just go away?” a woman says.

“If you don’t want me to throw your phone away—walk,” the man said, but Victoria repeated the question.

“[expletion] off,” said another man in a white shirt.

The man with the Harley Davison shirt tried to grab Victoria’s phone and pushed her away. “Is this what you want? Is this what you want? You want me to throw away your phone?” he said.

“You’re pushing limits you don’t want to push,” said the man in the white shirt.

“Just leave us alone,” a woman said as they went off.

Victoria shared afterward with CTVNews.ca, “It was really quick. He didn’t hit me but he tried to push me and take my phone … but I stood my ground.”

When Victoria arrived at the end of the path, the biker group had already complained to the Rangers that Victoria had been hassling them and had been filming them without permission.

By the time Victoria approached the ranger and asked the ranger to call the police, the biker group had already gone.

She told CTV, “I really just want the justice system to deal with him. And whatever happens, at least it’ll be on his record.”

Immediately Victoria took to Twitter: “I was just assaulted by a man who first told me to go back to my own country, at Banff National Park,” she said, “But I think it would be good if it goes viral. These people don’t get to win.”

It worked: More than 1 million viewers on social media saw how Victoria stood her ground on Saturday.

Most people commented in favor of the US immigrant and condemned the bikers’ behavior.

She also made an appeal to identify the man who pushed her so she could press charges, which eventually worked. The next day she posted: “They found him. I just called the police. Thank you internet and Twitter!!!”

RCMP Sgt. Marlene Brown confirmed to CTV that the man was identified and an investigation is ongoing.