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Police plead for tips in vandalism of North Vancouver residential school memorial

The memorial was vandalized in late January 2022
The Squamish Nation memorial for survivors and victims of the St. Paul’s Residential School was vandalized in January 2022. (Cole Schisler/Black Press Media)

North Vancouver RCMP and the Squamish First Nation are asking the public for information about the vandalism of a residential school memorial that took place in January.

On Jan. 24, it was discovered that a memorial carving outside the former Sisters of St. Paul convent on Sixth Street in North Vancouver was vandalized. A figure with its arms raised in welcome had one of its arms taken off. The carving memorializes children from Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Sechelt and Musqueam First Nations who were taken from their families and forced to attend St. Paul’s residential school.

“We were shocked and saddened when we discovered that the monument had been vandalized,” said Squamish Nation spokesperson Wilson Williams. “This act of vandalism has caused immense grief to residential school survivors and their loved ones.”

The vandalism came shortly after Williams Lake First Nation announced they discovered 93 burial sites on the ground so the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School.

After the vandalism took place, Williams told Black Press Media that the Nation was keeping an open mind and an open heart to whoever was responsible. There is no known motive for the vandalism.

Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP said police efforts to identify a suspect in the vandalism have been unsuccessful. He implored the public to come forward with information.

“If you have heard something, if you saw something, or if you know anything at all, please report it.”

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous is asked to contact the North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311. Anyone who wishes to provide information but who wants to remain anonymous can contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

READ MORE: Squamish First Nation ‘in disbelief’ after residential school memorial vandalized


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Black Press Media Staff

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