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‘Racist criminals’: Osoyoos Indian Band Chief denounces vandalism of sacred site

The Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) is denouncing a racist act of vandalism at a sacred site.
The Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) is denouncing a racist act of vandalism at a sacred site. Courtesy: Oliver Chronicle

Warning: This story contains language that may be offensive to readers. 

The chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) is denouncing an act of vandalism on an Indigenous pictograph over the weekend that he is calling a “racist crime.”

The racist profanity was written on top of a pictograph on a large rock at Rattlesnake Point in a remote location on the OIB reserve east of Osoyoos Lake.

“Most of those rock paintings are hundreds of years old and from pre-settler times,” said OIB Chief Clarence Louie in an email to Global News.

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The phrases, written in black spraypaint, include “F-ckin ch-g sh–,” and “F-ck this dirty rez.”

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Louie, clearly angered by the racist graffiti, said the pictograph will be difficult to salvage as cleaning solutions may erase all markings on the rock.

A sacred site on the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve was vandalized with racist profanity over the weekend, the band said.
A sacred site on the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve was vandalized with racist profanity over the weekend, the band said. Courtesy: Oliver Chronicle

“My thoughts on this racist crime is the ongoing problem of low life disrespectful trespassers,” he said.

Louie said the OIB reserve is private property and the band has erected “no trespassing” signs across its 32,000 acres of land.

“Yet idiots ignore signs and drive on our private Rez roads and pull their boats up all along the Osoyoos Indian Band private lands on the east side of Osoyoos Lake,” Louie said.

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The Chief said the band is unaware of how old the pictograph as, as it’s not dated, or who the First Nations individual is who painted it and what they were portraying. However, it is a piece of OIB history and culture.

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Louie said any investigation may prove fruitless as there were no witnesses and the act of vandalism occurred in a remote area with no surveillance cameras.

“It is not the first time First Nations pictographs or cultural sites have been damaged by racist criminals,” he said.

Global News has reached out to the Osoyoos RCMP detachment to determine if it is investigating.

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