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Kamloops  

Condemning racist grafitti

The provincial government is standing beside the Secwépemc Nation in decrying a recent racial attack on the First Nation. 

Over the Canada Day long weekend what is being described as hate-filled, racists remarks were spraypainted and permanent markered on a Secwépemc Nation morel mushroom sign. 

The graffiti read: "F*ck Indians," "White is Right," and "White Power."

Secwépemc Nation chief  Wayne Christian immediately condemned the vandalism stating in a press release to the media: "We have just been served a hatred-filled reality check from a portion of Canadian society." Christian added, "Complacency now can be interpreted as complicity." 

British Columbia's minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Scott Fraser released his own statement to the media Thursday morning. 

"The Government of British Columbia denounces and condemns in the strongest possible terms the racist vandalism of Secwépemc Nation signs, outside a mushroom picking area near the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area," he stated.

"This ignorant, cowardly and reprehensible act is contrary to the values of our government and the people of British Columbia and Canada... Racism and bigotry will not be tolerated and is not reflective of who we are. Hatred will only win if we remain silent. We must work together to build a better future for all British Columbians."

It is not known what prompted the racist vandalism, however, it is being hinted that the remarks were in regards to the control the Secwépemc Nation has over what is expected to be a massive morel mushroom harvest.

The area where the signs are posted was the site of 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire. The charred earth has created ideal conditions for morels.  

"As part of wildfire recovery efforts following the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, the government is partnering with the Secwépemc Nation to help protect and restore burnt areas," stated Fraser. "We support the First Nation's stewardship role as ancestral caretakers of the land, and the Secwépemc approach to encourage responsible, safe and low-impact mushroom harvesting. Our partnership on Elephant Hill is a demonstration of our commitment to reconciliation, and the success we can achieve by working together."

Permits are now needed to pick, buy or camp morels in the area near where the racist graffiti was left on the sign.

A harvester permit cost $20 and is valid until July 31. 

A camping permit cost $30 and is valid until July 31.

The cost of the buyer permit is $500 and is valid until July 31.

All fees are waived for status card holders from a Secwépemc Community.



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