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North Cowichan leaders condemn racist posts as Cowichan Tribes face virus outbreak

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North Cowichan leaders condemn racist posts as Cowichan Tribes face virus outbreak

Stephanie Atleo, a Cowichan Tribes councillor, at the Cowichan Tribes administration office in Duncan. It saddens me that our communities are being judged because COVID has made it into our nations, Atleo said. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST Cowichan Tribes, North Cowichan and other members of the Cowichan Leadership Group are standing together to condemn racism and call for unity as the First Nation faces a COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are sickened at the racist response of some members of this community towards Cowichan Tribes members after hearing the news that there are COVID cases on the reserve,” the group said in a statement issued Monday.

Some anonymous online messages urged off-reserve employers to fire First Nations staff if they deal with the public. One woman said a dental appointment was postponed when the office learned she lived on the reserve.

Cowichan Tribes has issued a shelter in place order in effect until Jan. 22. Other restrictions include limiting events and putting up barriers regulating access to the reserve.

As of Monday, there were 70 confirmed cases, with six classified as recovered, Cowichan Tribes Coun. Stephanie Atleo said in an interview.

Some Cowichan Tribes members have faced discrimination when they go out for essentials or are doing their daily business, she said. “Being a member of council, I get those messages so I’m aware that it’s happening.”

At work, some members have been asked about where they live. “So that’s concerning because our members need to work so there is that fear of losing their employment while we are under this order.”She’s been told that some customers will avoid tills staffed by a First Nations member.Cowichan Tribes […]

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