RCMP. (The Canadian Press)

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

A police investigation is underway as RCMP search for the person who threatened to damage two totem poles at a secondary school north of Vancouver.

A statement from Sunshine Coast RCMP says surveillance video from Pender Harbour Secondary shows a person unfurling a large banner containing a spray-painted message.

The banner was tied to the two totem poles and the school principal reported the vandalism and threatening message Tuesday morning.

Police describe the nature of the threat as “sensitive,” while the Shishalh Nation, based in nearby Sechelt, says the message warns “totems will start falling” if statues such as those of John A. Macdonald are removed.

The statement from the First Nation says the word “conquered” was also painted on a highway sign containing Shishalh language, and police are investigating.

Const. Jihan McDougall says there is no tolerance for such vandalism and the Shishalh Nation says it is saddened by the racist acts, but heartened by the outpouring of support from across British Columbia.

Coun. Selina August says the First Nation is thankful to the “countless British Columbians” ready to call out racism.

“While we woke up … to hurtful news of racist incidents, we are also met with the love, support, and generosity of British Columbians from all walks of life who wish to see true reconciliation become the reality across this country,” August said in the statement.

RCMP have released two grainy surveillance photos showing a person tying the banner to the school totem poles and urge anyone with information to contact them.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Most Read