The Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds have been desecrated, according to NetNewsLedger.com. The grounds are located on Fort William First Nation in Ontario.
The website is reporting that a source who was inspecting the sacred grounds over the weekend witnessed three trucks driven by Causasian males driving over and damaging the site. The trucks fled when they saw the witness, but not before she took several photos of the vehicles. According to the CBC, Anishinabek Police Services said it is investigating the incident and will lay charges against at least one person later this week.
The grounds, where the First Nation's annual pow wow is held every July, was heavily damaged by flooding in March, but was recovering. The trucks involved in this incident tore up the land, causing wide destruction.
An image of two trucks allegedly fleeing the pow wow grounds after damaging the sacred site.
The perpetrators need to be held accountable — but may also need to be educated, Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau told the CBC.
“I ... would like to sit with them and be able to talk to them about ... the meaning of our mountain and how those types of actions impact the entire First Nation and how it impacts members individually.”
Morriseau noted the people responsible were not from the First Nation. If the matter proceeds to court, she said she would attend and ask for meaningful restitution.
On May 21, the First Nation banned all off-roading on their lands. “Fort William First Nations is off limits to your off road activities,” stated Councillor Wyatt Bannon on Twitter.
"It's heart wrenching to know that people would do this,” Chief Morriseau said.
The damage to Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds allegedly caused by a group of white off-roaders over the weekend. ((Nicole Ireland/CBC)