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

Rupertites contribute funds to wildfire relief effort

Afternoon barbecue on Aug. 17 barbecue brings in more than $500

Inspection report reveals multiple failures in Prince Rupert ammonia leak

68kg ammonia tank was being stored improperly in a shipping container outside the arena

In Our Opinion: How to lose an ammonia tank— ask the city

How did a 68kg cylinder of ammonia remain unseen after multiple audits and assessments

COLUMN: Affordable safe housing for all

On the importance of supporting all housing projects in Prince Rupert

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

This Week Podcast – Episode 98

From the Prince Rupert Golf Club, catch up on sports, entertainment and news highlights

The Northern View 2018 Readers Choice

Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Sept. 7

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read