The leaders of south Vancouver Island First Nations are gathering in Esquimalt Friday morning to sign a letter addressing recent acts of vandalism and violence in the region.
On Canada Day, the statue of Captain James Cook was toppled into the Inner Harbour and replaced with several red wooden dresses. The following day, a totem atop the Malahat Drive was seen burning with the words “ONE TOTEM – ONE STATUE” spray-painted on a concrete barrier in front of it.
On July 3, Victoria police announced they were investigating an incident at an Esquimalt church where they said there was an unsuccessful attempt to remove a statue of of St. Francis. Police said the church’s door was also damaged.
In attendance to sign the letter Friday will be chiefs and council members from Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation, Beecher Bay First Nation, T’Sou-ke Nation, Malahat First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Tsartlip First Nation, Pauquachin First Nation and Tseycum First Nation.
The leaders are inviting the region’s mayors, councillors and elected representative to stand with them at the ceremony.
More to come.
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