Tim Edwards and his wife Shawneen Creesuga Foureyes came across a racist sign posted next to the Starlight Drive-In in Enderby and decided to launch an anti-racism walk Saturday, July 28. (Shawneen Creesuga Foureyes photo)

Racist sign prompts B.C. man to organize anti-discrimination walk

The walk set to start July 28, 1 p.m. at Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby

When Tim Edwards saw the racist sign posted on a fence near the Starlight Drive-In, he took it as a sign that something needs to change.

“It was myself and my wife that passed it,” Edwards said, adding that they first saw the sign at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, July 24. “I’ve been dealing with racism all my life. To see this for the second time in our territory, it hurt.”

After calling the RCMP, which he said were on scene to take down the sign at about 8:30 a.m., Edwards, a Splatsin First Nation man, is organizing an anti-racism walk Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. at the Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby.

“It’s been going on longer than our grandparents have been alive. There hasn’t been enough involvement. It arises and we sit back and we get angry and say what should have been done, but we don’t do anything,” Edwards said.

In May 2018, Splatsin First Nation and the City of Enderby stood together against vandalism at the Enderby Skate Park where prejudicial comments were spray-painted on the track.

Related: Splatsin, Enderby denounce park vandalism

“This is unacceptable racial defacing,” said Wayne Christian, Splatsin Chief, known as Kukpi7 Christian, in a statement posted to both the Splatsin and city websites following the May vandalism.

“We will not tolerate discrimination. Splatsin appreciates the diligent work done by the City of Enderby to quickly remove the offensive graffiti and to find and charge the criminals.”

In an attempt to band together following the most recent incident, walkers are asked to dress in blue, a colour of peace. Edwards said he has reached out to local dignitaries from surrounding communities and bands, including Enderby, Armstrong, Splatsin First Nation and Okanagan Indian Band.

For Edwards, it’s important that people of all backgrounds from the community are involved in the walk. So far, Edwards said he has 100 people ready to don blue and walk beside him.

“I really want it to be heard. This isn’t just a First Nations problem,” Edwards said. “It’s been there all the time. I don’t think anyone has really tried to create an event like this.”

RELATED: Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Edward hopes that through the community banding together, his kids won’t have to deal with the incidents of racism he has throughout his life.

“We can push through this,” Edwards said. “It’s time we stand together, fight together.”

Following the incident on Splatsin land, there have been several reports of multiple mushroom-picking advisory signs being defaced around the Elephant Hill wildfire area, which were put up by the Skeetchestn, High Bar, Whispering Pines and Bonaparte bands.

Two signs near Cache Creek and one near Clinton have been vandalized.


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rupert Runners share memories of beloved volunteer Leslie Peloquin

Distance runner Peloquin was a Learn to Run coach in Prince Rupert for years, inspiring many

‘Ruff week over for canine owners as Prince Rupert dog park reopens

McKay Street dog park was temporarily closed for repairs after a car crashed into fence

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

Kerbrat back in command of Prince Rupert golf scene

Strong putting game helps reclaim the title

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

WEB POLL: Would you like to see another mural go up where Zorba’s Taverna’s old one used to be?

The iconic quirky mural from Prince Rupert’s Greek restaurant was painted over this week

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read