The Reconciliation Pole was raised in 2017 to honour victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system. (UBC)

Reconciliation Pole at UBC vandalized days before second anniversary

The totem pole was raised to honour victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system

The 55-foot totem pole raised at the University of British Columbia to honour victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system was vandalized days before its second anniversary.

The incident was described as a “troubling act of vandalism” in an open letter written by Margaret Moss, director of First Nations House of Learning, and Sheryl Lightfoot, senior advisor to the president on Indigenous Affairs.

READ MORE: Totem pole raised at UBC honours First Nations victimized by residential schools

Stakes that were holding the the Reconciliation Pole were removed from the ground and inserted into the back of the pole, according to the letter. On Friday, a campus employee reported the vandalism to campus security. The stakes have since been removed and there is no visible damage to the pole.

On Monday, the Reconciliation Pole celebrated its second anniversary. It was carved from a 800-year-old red cedar tree on B.C.’s north coast by a Haida Nation hereditary chief, James Hart.

“This condemnable act profoundly disrespects everything the pole represents, from the voices of the survivors of the schools, the memories of the children who died in them, the hopes of Indigenous peoples, to the honour of all Canadians who are striving to shake free from the darkness of the past to embrace a brighter future together,” the letter stated.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food bank doing well thanks to volunteers and donations

Chair applauds staff for stepping up in time of turmoil

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

Restaurants adjust to loosened restrictions

Gateway Grill in Clearwater is one of the establishments that’s reopened its doors to in-house guests

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Most Read