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Open Letter

From: Thohahente Kim Weaver

Date: Tuesday May 23, 2017

To: J.V.N. (VINCE) HAWKES


Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner
General Headquarters
Lincoln M. Alexander Building
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, ON
L3V 7V3

Subject: Vandalism of Ancient Anishinaabe Pictographs

Thohahente yontiats. Kanyen'keh:ka n:'i nok wakenthen. Tsi Kenhtke


nitiwak:non
.
I write to you from the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee, Wendat, and
Anishinaabe.

Included in this letter is a link to a FaceBook live feed posted by Isaac Murdoch,
an Anishinaabe artist from Serpent River First Nation. In this live feed video,
Isaac provides a report on finding ancient pictographs made by his ancestors
near Lake Huron, spray painted over by vandals. He proceeded to the local
OPP detachment at Blind River to report the vandalism. He was basically told to
get lost in police speak and was informed vandalism of unique sacred
Anishinaabe artifacts is not an OPP problem.

As the ultimate authority for the determination of what constitutes an OPP


matter, I call your attention to this matter so you can provide a somewhat more
appropriate response than Get lost. Please leave the station. Chasing vandals
destroying ancient Indigenous artifacts is not our business.

The pictographs were likely defaced by local cottagers. We have seen anti-
Indigenous acts of violence like this from cottagers exercising their white
privilege both here and elsewhere in the province like Pigeon Lake where they
willfully dig up the wild rice that is an Anishinaabe food source. Such behaviour
must stop and punishment must be laid down for these hate crimes.
The damage done to the pictographs is equal to someone defacing hieroglyphics
on Egyptian historic sites or someone blowing up the Parthenon. These are
artifacts of the highest value.
Last night Christ Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch who brought this issue to light,
received tweets from a couple of white guys who appeared to claim responsibility
for the damage and indicated they would be visiting the site to do more damage.
Removing evidence of Indigenous existence on the land and destroying sacred
sites is a hate crime.

Now that you are aware, what are you going to do about it?

Video on the destruction

https://www.facebook.com/100008333559927/videos/1877870829167351/

Tweets vowing to create more damage

https://twitter.com/resistance150/status/866773507748835328

:nen ki' whi

Thohahente Kim Weaver


Turtle Clan

"you have to quit crying on the shoulder of the guy that stole your land" - Art
Manuel

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