‘The chose to target this’: teepee vandalized at University of Manitoba

Simon Stones, CTV News Winnipeg
Published Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:24PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:59PM CST

A teepee stands broken behind the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba after being vandalized over the weekend.

Multiple slashes can be seen on the exterior, where a pole protruded out the side of the structure when the damage was discovered by staff on Monday morning.

The teepee was erected about 4 months ago to provide an Indigenous space to gather in and welcome visitors to the centre.

While the exact motive is unknown, Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at University of Manitoba, says the vandalism sends a message.

“Everybody knows this is a very visual cultural symbol of Indigenous people, specifically of First Nations people,” Moran said. “So the fact that they chose to target this, the fact they chose to try and tear it down, does say something into itself and I think we have to remember that in those choices there is a statement being made.”

Moran said this will simply become part the dialogue on what Indigenous people have to endure on a daily basis and will not detract them from their work.

The teepee is expected to be repaired and back up within the next two weeks.