Facebook photo A memorial at the Qualicum First Nation graveyard on Cochrane Road was painted with racial slur. A memorial at the Qualicum First Nation graveyard on Cochrane Road was painted with racial slur. — Michael Briones photo

Qualicum First Nation graveyard vandalized with racial slur

A Vancouver-Island First Nation graveyard has been vandalized, with a disturbing racial slur spraypainted on a memorial for one of the community’s beloved members.

Tanna Weir, a councillor with the Qualicum First Nation, said the graffiti that targets Indigenous peoples was discovered on Friday by her brother-in-law. The plaque on the memorial was also stolen and the sprinkler system was damaged.

Weir, along with Qualicum First Nation chief Michael Recalma and fellow councillor Donna Kennedy, were at the site Saturday morning located in a remote area on Cochrane Road in Qualicum Bay. They were upset and disheartened with what they saw.

“This has never happened in this community ever,” said Recalma. “That’s the shocking part after all this years.”

Although the place is secluded, they said they’ve never seen anybody partying in the area.

“It’s a very quiet place and have been left alone, until now,” said Kennedy.

Weir shared the incident on her Facebook page and in that short time, she said he had many people come forward wishing to help wipe out the demeaning words.

One gentleman, she said, who works with granite has offered to wipe off the ugly words.

The memorial has now been covered by a tarp until the painting is removed. Recalma said they do not know how much it would cost to clean off the paint and also repair the sprinkler.

“We have an offer to remove it and if they are successful, perfect,” said Recalma.

Recalma said they do not have any idea who is responsible and are now asking the public for any information.

The vandalism was reported to the Oceanside RCMP.

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