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APTN Investigates
APTN has discovered another series of racist comments about Indigenous people in a different secret Facebook group for RCMP members only.

News stories on Indigenous issues shared in the group from the summer and fall of 2017, drew a range of comments calling Indigenous people “racists,” “lazy,” with a “sense of entitlement.”

When a Squamish Chief in B.C. suggested tearing down a historic RCMP building to make way for reconciliation, a Mountie wrote, “There comes a time when someone needs to stand up to these spoiled children and tell them to just f— off.”

In response to a story posted about a First Nation in British Columbia that refused to evacuate during the wildfires, a member posted, “what an ignorant bunch of clowns.”

Another commented, “You can’t fix stupid,” followed by, “You can . . . just let the fire do its thing.”

“Any of these social media posts that are being brought to our attention, there is an immediate response to it,” said Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Commanding Officer for RCMP ‘K’ Division in British Columbia.

“There’s a review of it and a process initiated. That’s just the standard of the approach to it,” she said in an interview with APTN. “There’s no tolerance to it. There’s zero tolerance.” There was tension between the RCMP at the Alexis Creek detachment in BC and the Tl’etinqox Government when Chief Joe Alphonse and some of his community members decided not to evacuate.

On April, 23, the RCMP and the Tl’etinqox have since made an effort to reconcile in a healing circle.

“We did have RCMP personally that didn’t have the level of education or knowledge that our communities, our chiefs have that authority in our own communities for evacuation orders but we’ve rectified that,” said Butterworth-Carr.

“Certainly those are those situations where we would likely look to the leadership of the community and say is this something you believe we can reconcile.”

The secret Facebook group is not administrated by the RCMP, but it has close to 10,000 members.

And some of those members identify as Indigenous officers in their responses to some of the racist posts.

In the thread about the Squamish chief wanting reconciliation, the officer who called Indigenous people “spoiled children” later comments:

“There comes a time when we have apologized more than enough and compensated enough.”

A woman who identifies herself as a First Nation member responds, saying, “I’m proud of my career as an RCMP officer and the incredible non-FN members I have met that have done great work in our communities.”
But she adds, “For anyone who says ‘get over it, it was 100 years ago’ . . . I went to residential school!!!”And the response to that from another officer;“Does an end date exist? Or are my great-grandchildren expected to continue to reconcile?”Sources who spoke to APTN , Indigenous Mounties who didn’t want to be identified, said the exchange was disheartening.A sentiment reflected in a comment in the Facebook thread that reads, “As a First Nation member…every time I hear comments such as above, the sting never gets easier. It hurts twice as bad coming from co-workers that I would protect with my own life. Ignorance is a shameful thing. Awful.”Last February, APTN reported on a racist post by a Mountie in a different, closed Facebook group.In the wake of the Gerald Stanley acquittal in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, the female officer wrote, “Too bad the kid died but he got what he deserved.”The family of Colten Boushie took their complaints about the RCMP handling of the investigation and their treatment of family members to the RCMP watchdog, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.That story […]

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