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

CRD directors look for solutions to growing rural crime trend

“The bulk of these break and enters seem to be drug-fuelled,” CRD board chair Margo Wagner

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

CRIMESTOPPERS: Williams Lake RCMP seek public’s assistance

Williams Lake RCMP released three names of people they are looking for

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read