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B.C. First Nation condemns racist sign hung between two totem poles

Click to play video: 'Sunshine Coast RCMP investigate racially-motivated totem vandalism'
Sunshine Coast RCMP investigate racially-motivated totem vandalism
Sunshine Coast RCMP investigate racially-motivated totem vandalism – Jul 9, 2020

A B.C. First Nation says it is saddened and upset but “not surprised” by two recent acts of anti-Indigenous vandalism in the community.

On July 7 a large banner was hung between two totem poles at Pender Harbour School on the Sunshine Coast that read “IF U TOUCH George/Stanley/John A UR Totem’s will start Falling” (sic).

In addition, the word “conquered” was painted on a highway sign containing shíshálh language.

“Of course, we are not surprised,” hiwus (Chief) Warren Paull said in a release.

“Racism exists here on the Sunshine Coast, as it does elsewhere. And as always, racism will be confronted for what it is — as an expression of ignorance and hate that must be completely rejected in all forms.”

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Sunshine Coast RCMP are investigating the incidents and say they have surveillance video of a person hanging the banner at the school just after 9 a.m. on July 7.

Police say the banner is large, fabric and was tied on all four corners with rope and spray painted.

“Given the sensitive nature of this threat, police are working diligently to locate a suspect and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person in the surveillance video,” Const. Jihan McDougall said in a release.

“There is no tolerance for this type of behaviour and we will work very hard to find the person responsible.”

Sunshine Coast RCMP say they have surveillance video of the suspect on July 7.
Sunshine Coast RCMP say they have surveillance video of the suspect on July 7. Sunshine Coast RCMP
Sunshine Coast RCMP say they have surveillance video of the suspect on July 7.
Sunshine Coast RCMP say they have surveillance video of the suspect on July 7. Sunshine Coast RCMP

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The community has rallied around the shíshálh Nation and have provided support by condemning these acts.

“So our message today is one of thanks, to all those countless British Columbians who see racism for what it is, call it out, and are ready to do the on-going work of improving our communities, province, country, and world,” councillor Selina August said in a release.

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