All the windows on the driver’s side of Kitsumkalum Health Centre’s bus were smashed while it was parked overnight, causing $2,000 worth in damages. (Kitsumkalum photo)

Vandals smash Kitsumkalum Health Centre bus windows

Bus used mostly by youth groups, elders

Kitsumkalum’s Health Centre bus used primarily to transport elders and youth groups was the target of needless vandalism Monday night, resulting in more than $2,000 worth in damages.

Kitsumkalum youth were preparing to head out for their first trip to an outdoor spring camp on March 25 when their bus got stuck in the snow on Copper River Road.

When two tow trucks couldn’t pull the van out, it was left overnight to await better-towing conditions in the morning. The youth were then taken to the camp using another vehicle.

But sometime during the night, vandals came across the bus and smashed all the windows on the driver’s side. The vehicle was found covered in pieces of glass the next day.

“It’s just terrible. Times like these when darkness is brought to light… it’s clear that it’s a Kitsumkalum van, it’s a Health Centre van. You can’t miss that writing on the side,” says youth coordinator Brittany McDougall. “Whoever did that was not mistaken in who they were harming.”

While there’s no evidence to suggest this vandalism was racially motivated, McDougall says there needs to be an open dialogue about the possibility.

“It’s important for these things to come into light because there is definitely racism in our community, and it’s not talked about. I don’t know if this is an act of racism, but it’s something that can fuel those questions and trigger some reflection.”

The bus is used regularly to transport elders, and Kitsumkalum’s youth to outdoor activities, including trips to Copper Stables, hiking, basketball, soccer and drum making workshops. These trips are extremely important to Kitsumkalum youth because it gives them new experiences, McDougall says.

READ MORE: Atlantis Taekwondo runs ‘warrior-style’ camp for spring break

“It’s an avenue to break the boundaries of the reserve, to go outside of the reserve and to explore. One community member said to me how important it is to make these opportunities available to the kids so they know they have access past that [Kitsumkalum River] bridge.”

Councillor Troy Sam says the vehicle is insured and costs to repair the damages to the windows should be covered. Another vehicle was rented in the meantime for elders and youth to use, though that money could have been put towards programming instead of repair work.

READ MORE: Indigenous youth ski program in Northwest gets funding

“You just feel disappointed that someone would do that kind of senseless vandalism on a vehicle,” Sam says.

The incident was reported to police and anyone with information is asked to call the Terrace RCMP at (250)638-7400 or anonymously at Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

All the windows on the driver’s side of Kitsumkalum Health Centre’s bus were smashed while it was parked overnight, causing $2,000 worth in damages. (Kitsumkalum photo)

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink pipe continues to arrive in Terrace

Shipped by rail from Saskatchewan

No injuries reported following propane leak in Terrace

Hwy 16 closed off, businesses evacuated as emergency crews responded

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Tough year ahead for the aluminium industry

U.S. market is still Canada’s most important

Kitselas receive $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program, open to Tsimshian and Haisla Nations

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read