(RCMP handout)

(RCMP handout)

Muskoday First Nation chief say Saskatchewan RCMP should investigate sign as hate crime

‘This is a clear indication that some, not all, non-First Nations people are still racist’

RCMP are investigating after someone put up a sign with offensive comments on First Nations land in Saskatchewan.

The sign was put up this week on a bridge at the Muskoday First Nation, about 30 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, Sask., with part of it saying “White Lives Matter Too.”

A shoe was also hung up referencing the vigils taking place across the country for what are believed to be the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children found in unmarked graves at former residential schools.

RCMP said they received the complaint about the sign on Wednesday.

Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said a band member saw an individual pull over to hang the sign but didn’t realize what it said at the time.

“This is a clear indication that some, not all, non-First Nations people are still racist,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“They have a lot of hate inside their minds and bodies. Living that kind of life like that is not a good way to live.”

The federation represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

Muskoday Chief Ava Bear has asked those responsible for the sign to come forward so they can be educated on First Nations culture, protocol and customs.

She said RCMP should investigate the sign as a possible hate crime.

“Our youth and children have seen this sign on our lands, and we are calling on the RCMP to step in to investigate this act as a possible hate crime and charge the person or people responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” she said in a statement.

“If we don’t stand up to these racists, who will?”

Cowessess First Nation in southern Saskatchewan announced last month the preliminary findings of 751 unmarked graves at the nearby Marieval Indian Residential School.

Three First Nations in British Columbia have reported what are believed to be unmarked graves near former residential schools in their territories.

Saskatchewan RCMP said they are in the early stages of the investigation and could not speculate on the outcome.

The Canadian Press

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