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University of Alberta Teepee Vandalism Causes Fear In Indigenous Community

Teepee poles at the University of Alberta were vandalized with toilet paper March 7 to 8. The poles had been a memorial to murdered and missing women.
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Over the weekend of March 7 to 8, teepee poles erected by the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies were vandalized with toilet paper and vinyl flag tape.

The teepee had been up as part of a memorial that said “Justice for our Sisters” from February 10 to March 6 to bring awareness to murdered and missing aboriginal women, children and two spirit persons.

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The vandalized teepee poles held a memorial to missing and murdered aboriginal women from February 10 to March 6.

The vandalism “has caused indigenous and non-indigenous students, staff and faculty hurt, fear and discomfort,” Dean Brendan Hokowhitu said in a written statement.

The teepee poles and the surrounding space are a sacred area where people gather. Faculty condemned the vandalism and urged the perpetrators to come forward.

“This disrespectful and ignorant behaviour cannot be tolerated on this campus, regardless of the motivation,” said University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera. “The university stands in support of our indigenous students, faculty and staff. We value diversity, inclusion and safe spaces for all members of our community.”

Campus protective services and Edmonton Police Service have both been notified and are conducting an investigation.