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Salish Sea Sentinel | September 17, 2020

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shíshálh receives flood of community support after racist vandalism

shíshálh receives flood of community support after racist vandalism

Photo: shíshálh 

shíshálh Nation leaders are speaking out about racist vandalism left in their territory. 

Members of chief and council say they are saddened but not surprised at the hateful messages left in the Sunshine Coast community. 

However they are also grateful for an outpouring of community support that was received shortly after word started circulating about the anti-Indigenous messages. 

On July 7, the nation discovered a threatening banner that was hung between two totem poles at a local school.  
On the banner, it read: “IF U TOUCH George/Stanley/John A UR Totem’s will start Falling.” 

The message seems to refer to Captain George Vancouver, Lord Stanley and John A. Macdonald and other colonial leaders whose statues have been targeted in other cities as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The same day, it was discovered that someone had painted the word “conquered” on a highway sign containing the shíshálh language. Police are investigating both incidents. 

Hiwus (Chief) Warren Paull said members of the nation are saddened and upset — but not surprised — by the recent acts of anti-Indigenous racism. 

“Racism exists here on the Sunshine Coast, as it does elsewhere,” Paull said in a statement. 

“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.” 

shíshálh Coun. Selina August said while the news was hurtful, the nation was supported by many residents in the area and others across B.C. 

“This is the most heartening thing,” she said. “We are also met with the love, support, and generosity of British Columbians from all walks of life who wish to see true reconciliation.”