The Tla’amin Nation and community members are expressing concern after they say private property was vandalized with racist remarks.
The incident happened at lɛχwamɛn (Pocahontas Bay) on Texada Island. Tla’amin says the incident is disturbing as it has remarks directed to their Nation and its citizens
Chief John Hackett says the vandalism is a reflection of continued issues faced by Tla’amin citizens.
“This act of racism is a reflection of the systemic discrimination that Tla’amin citizens continue to experience on a daily basis,” said Chief Hackett. It is very unfortunate that people continue to disrespect our Nation and lɛχʷamɛn. I don’t think the residents of Texada and the broader qathet region appreciate this kind of negative attention.”
Tla’amin says lɛχʷamɛn has been used for thousands of years for social, cultural and ceremonial purposes. The particular area with the vandalism was used historically for shelter from seasonal storms.
The area is used in the summer by Tla’amin youth camps to learn about cultural history and cultural practices. Texada Island residents are granted access to the area by contacting Tla’amin Nation Lands Department for permission.
qathet regional board chair Patrick Brabazon says they do not condone the behaviour and stand with Tla’amin.
“The qathet Regional District does not condone racist or discriminatory acts of any kind. Every member of our region should feel safe regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background,” said Brabazon
“We stand united with our friends, neighbours and partners, the Tla’amin Nation, and condemn this destructive and callous act of vandalism. Those who inflict their hateful comments upon others of our community achieve nothing of consequence, the pain they cause will pass, and the reality of our collective goodwill will triumph.”
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says everyone has the right to feel secure and respected in their community and these acts have no place in our society.
Tla’amin Nation asks anyone who sees acts of hate or vandalism on Tla’amin property to contact the Lands Department or RCMP.