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

Police investigate abduction and assault

Police received 40 calls for assistance from December 11 to December 17.

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Creston & District Credit Union will not be taking part in new single credit union

The Creston & District Credit Union Board of Directors has decided to… Continue reading

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Creston motel may soon be allowed to rent rooms by the month

By Brian Lawrence A Northwest Boulevard motel may soon be allowed to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read