Disappointment and upset flooded the Yellow Quill First Nation Monday after racist signs were discovered in an outhouse. The cardboard displays were found just as the Saskatchewan community was beginning its Culture Camp.
"Colten Boushie was a thief that got what thieves deserve," was written in black on one placard. Colten Boushie was a young Cree man shot on a rural farm in the province. His killer was acquitted.
Equally written in marker was an attack on indigenous hunting practices. The term “useless Indian” was used in this context.
The indigenous culture camp that coincides with the discovery of these signs is a five day opportunity for members of the Yellow Quill First Nation to acquaint themselves with their heritage and traditions.
The camp plans lessons in tipis, pipe ceremonies, bannock making, and a sweat lodge ceremony for men.
“A lot of the kids don't know where they come from, they have lost their identity and don't know their language,” commented the camp programmer. “[T]he camp gives them a chance to meet other relatives and talk with elders.”
Discussion of the signs at the camp is now being planned by some members of the indigenous nation. Crystal Peequaquat—who’s sister in law made the discovery—has informed CTV News that she will be using the incident as an opportunity to open up an important conversation on racism.
"We need to teach our kids that racism is there, it will probably always be there—but it’s how we react that’s important," Peequaquat explained.
"[Racism] is nothing new. We see it every day, but that was the first time we found something like that.”