Woman walking her dog in Kamloops area discovered sign covered in racist graffiti. (Photo contributed)

Vandalized sign on First Nations land is ‘out-and-out racism’

Kamloops area sign that welcomes mushroom pickers covered in racist graffiti

  • Jul. 2, 2018 10:45 a.m.

—Kamloops This Week

A Batchelor Heights resident is feeling saddened and ashamed after discovering a defaced sign that welcomes mushroom pickers to Secwepemc territory up Lac Du Bois Road.

Bonnie Jesten was walking her dog early one morning last week when she noticed the sign was covered in large red letters saying “F— Indians.” The sign also contained white supremacist sayings “white is right” and “white power” in smaller black writing as well as the sentence “Indians have had enough.”

Seeing those words upset Jesten who said she felt compelled to take a picture of the sign and let people know about it.

“To me it was totally bad manners,” Jesten said, noting that she is not of First Nations heritage herself. “I’m upset that Canadians would act that way. I thought we were better than that.”

Jesten, however, didn’t alert the authorities or a First Nations band to the sign.

“I thought about phoning the Indian band, but I just wasn’t too sure how I could apologize to them for the behaviour of somebody who obviously isn’t Indigenous,” Jesten said.

Related: Funds aimed at ending racism

She did contemplate cleaning the writing off but feared causing more damage to the sign, which advises mushroom pickers and buyers, and lists four bands in the area where permits can be obtained.

Ron Ignace, chief of the Skeetchestn Band — one of the four bands listed on the sign — said he was not aware of the structure or the obscenities written on it but condemns the actions.

“That’s sick,” Ignace said of the writing. “It’s out-and-out racism.”

Ignace described actions like this as a serious concern and intends to “take a look” at the sign.

“It’s a violation of our human rights and it should be a concern for law abiding citizens throughout the country to have that kind of mentality spread around,” Ignace said.

He said he’s confident the people of Kamloops also condemn this type of mentality.

Jesten said she wants people to know that regardless of their background we all live here together and need to accept and support each other.

“To me the Indigenous people should be saying ‘Yeah, we’ve had enough,’” said Jesten. “They’ve been treated badly for decades and decades.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LUNA Q&A: Revelstoke Community Band

See everyday spaces transformed in the night at the second annual LUNA… Continue reading

Semi-truck rollover reported on Trans-Canada between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

No injuries being reported, traffic down to single lane alternating

Cops for Kids stops in Revelstoke

Locals Kurt Grabinsky and James Moore are participating in the ride

LUNA Q&A: Leila Neverland of Mountain Sound

Mountain Sound will be playing LUNA Nocturnal Art & Wonder on Sept. 29

UPDATE: Aaron Orlando drops out of the race for Revelstoke City Council

Aaron Orlando has dropped out of the race for Revelstoke City Council.… Continue reading

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read