A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Ucluelet woman apologizes after comparing B.C. mask mandate to residential schools

First Nations Chief Moses Martin, a survivor said ‘I’ll put a mask on any day instead of the experience that I had’

A Vancouver Island business owner has apologized after comparing children being mandated to wear masks in B.C. schools to the residential school system, sparking concern from a local First Nation chief.

Angie Roussin, the owner of Pina Styles printing shops in Tofino and Ucluelet, made a post on Instagram on April 2. In it, she said “kindergarten kids are being asked to wear masks all day.”

In B.C. schools, masks are required for students in Grade 4 and up, although younger kids are encouraged to wear them.

“Our government is harming our kids on purpose like they have done with so many children in the past. All our schools have become residential schools,” read Roussin’s caption.

The post, which has since been edited to remove the comparison that sparked outrage, included an apology, but not before it was shared widely on social media.

“My deepest apologies to all the Indigenous people that have suffered enough and to everyone that I hurt.”

“The purpose was to highlight the horrors of our Canadian government and that the worst crimes against humanity were not only legal, but mandated.”

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations Chief Moses Martin told Black Press Media he was grieved to hear of Roussin’s comments.

Martin is a survivor of Canada’s residential school system. His older brother died in residential school. Another of his siblings came home, but with a broken back.

“I’ll put a mask on any day instead of the experience that I had,” Martin said.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach is set to hold a byelection on May 15. (PQB News file photo)
Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: COVID-19 pandemic hits food service industry hard

Podcast: Parksville Qualicum Beach restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

The St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society wants the old building included in the Town of Qualicum Beach’s Heritage Register. (PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach councillor offers to help pay St. Andrews Lodge society’s bills

Group wants building included in town’s heritage register

Ballenas Secondar School (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Another exposure reported at Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary

Public health staff are completing contact tracing

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

Most Read