Tipi damaged at Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

University posts guard at Centre, to install additional security measures

The incident comes less than a month after the five Pride and Indigenous flags hanging outside of the Centre were vandalized.
The incident comes less than a month after the five Pride and Indigenous flags hanging outside of the Centre were vandalized.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

In a statement on Wednesday, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre shared that the tipi in its backyard was damaged last week. 

According to Kandice Baptiste, director of Four Directions, Queen’s Campus Security and Emergency Services (CSES) discovered the damage on July 24. The tear is approximately five feet in length along the seam of the tipi. 

The University confirmed CSES contacted Kingston Police about the incident.

“I am tired. We are tired at [Four Directions],” Baptiste wrote in a statement shared on Four Directions’ Facebook page. “I cannot find words that are eloquent or articulate enough to express our deep anger, frustration, and sadness.”

READ MORE: Following hate crime, Four Directions replaces flags in virtual ceremony

Baptiste said the ongoing acts of hatred demonstrate Four Directions is “being targeted” for its vocal and visible stances on protecting the Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities.

“When we do this work, it comes with great responsibility and risk—it is time the Queen’s community begins to understand this risk,” Baptiste wrote.

The incident comes less than a month after the five Pride and Indigenous flags hanging outside of the Centre were vandalized overnight between June 29 and June 30. The flags, which had been slashed horizontally, were rehung inside Four Directions in a virtual ceremony on July 17.

The Kingston Police appealed to the public for information pertaining to the incident on July 22, but have not provided any updates on the case.

READ MORE: Kingston Police share images of vandalized flags at Four Directions

Four Directions is working with campus partners to install security cameras, floodlights, and additional security measures to make the Centre a safer space, Baptiste wrote. The tipi will be repaired with the help of Elders in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. 

The University added that a guard has been posted on-site at Four Directions while additional security equipment is installed.

“If the people committing these acts think that it will stop me from calling out racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and all other hateful and parasitic views in our society, then they must not know who I am and who my team is,” Baptiste wrote. 

“Our ancestors come from the breath of the Creator and we are connected to them at all times. We are connected to their strength, resilience, strategic thinking, resourcefulness, and most importantly to their love. And I will take my ancestors, my community, my family, and my team over anyone, and anything, any day of the week.”

 
 
 
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July 29, 2020 Director Statement on Damage to Tipi at Four Directions Last Friday night I received a call from Queen’s Campus Security asking about damage to our tipi in the backyard at 4D. The tear, along the seam of the tipi, is about five feet in length and was newly discovered. I am tired. We are tired at 4D. I cannot find words that are eloquent or articulate enough to express our deep anger, frustration, and sadness. These ongoing acts demonstrate that 4D is being targeted, in my opinion, for our vocal and visible stance on protecting the sacredness of Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ folks and communities. When we do this work, it comes with great responsibility and risk – it is time the Queen’s community begins to understand this risk. 4D is working quickly with campus partners to respond to these acts, by installing security cameras, floodlights, and additional measures to keep the centre and space safe. We are committed to the safety of our staff, students, and space and will continue to ensure that all needed measures are taken. Also, the tipi will be repaired and Elders in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives are assisting with this process. If the people committing these acts think that it will stop me from calling out racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and all other hateful and parasitic views in our society, then they must not know who I am and who my team is. Our ancestors come from the breath of the Creator and we are connected to them at all times. We are connected to their strength, resilience, strategic thinking, resourcefulness, and most importantly to their love. And I will take my ancestors, my community, my family, and my team over anyone, and anything, any day of the week. All Indigenous students affected by this can access support by contacting Lisa Doxtator, Cultural Counsellor, or myself directly, or through the 4direct@queensu.ca email. We are here for you. Skennen, Kandice Baptiste Director, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

A post shared by Four Directions (@fourdirectionsqueens) on Jul 29, 2020 at 8:33am PDT

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Students and community members impacted by this incident and seeking support can connect with the following resources:

  • One-on-one counselling available for Black and Racialized students with psychologist E.L. Adams and/or counsellor Dr Arunima Khanna. To set up an appointment, email counselling.services@queensu.ca

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