Many have been peacefully protesting but tensions are high says Cowichan Tribes chief William (Chip) Seymour. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes chief issues statement asking for calm as Teddy the dog trial ratchets up tensions

The animal cruelty trial regarding Teddy the dog, pictured, who died two days after being seized by the SPCA last year is set for Feb. 27. (File photo)

With the Teddy the dog animal abuse trial set to continue this Friday, March 15, in Duncan tensions appear to be increasing between aboriginal and non-aboriginal citizens to the point that the chief of Cowichan Tribes has sounded the alarm.

SEE RELATED: Teddy the dog trial will go to a third day

RELATED STORY: Teddy the dog trial begins in Duncan

“Recent suspicious acts of violence and reports of intimidation on Cowichan reserve lands have Chief and Council concerned for the welfare of community members living on Reserve. This backlash against community is clearly stemming from the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a dog (known as Teddy),” Chief William (Chip) Seymour said via a press release issued on Tuesday.

The release noted that while the matter is currently before the courts and has generated a lot of publicity in recent weeks, some are attaching blame to the First Nations community in general and the chief is “not only concerned for the safety of his community members but also concerned these acts could drive a wedge between the local indigenous and non-indigenous communities.”

Seymour felt it important to speak up before things got worse.

“I would hope we can ratchet down the tension and allow the justice system to do its job,” he said.

A recent fire led some to speculate it was intentionally set, though North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Insp. Chris Bear said on March 5 that “at this time, we believe this fire to be an isolated event and not linked to any other occurrence.”

Other reports of racial intolerance have also been reported on Facebook, though the Citizen has been unable to confirm them.

On a comment on the Citizen’s web page Amanda Marchand wondered why nobody has mentioned “the hundreds of hate filled and racist comments on social media, the gun shots into a home, rocks thrown and the many acts of intimidation that followed,” the start of the Teddy trial. “There is a process to address what happened to the dog, but where is the accountability (and media) to address the deeply disturbing and shocking racist abuse and violent acts perpetrated against Cowichan Tribes members?”

North Cowichan mayor Al Siebring posted the press release on his Facebook page and that of the municipality.

“Racism and intolerance have no place in our community, and it’s truly lamentable that a press release such as this would have to be issued,” he said. “Your mayor and council fully endorse Chief Seymour’s call to ‘ratchet down the tension and allow the justice system to do its job’.”

Those with information about any incidents related to this issue are encouraged to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The trial of Anderson Joe, who is up on charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case, has already been held for two days. A third day is required.

If convicted, Joe could face a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison, a $10,000 fine and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Melissa Tooshley has already pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.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

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Alert Bay: COVID-19 cases go from 30 to zero thanks to health and emergency planning

Dr. Cutfeet says community leadership set Alert Bay up for success

Kwakiutl First Nation cautiously eases restrictions around COVID-19; Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw to remain locked down for now

Both First Nations near Port Hardy have no COVID-19 cases, and are prioritizing community safety

Pacific Coastal Airlines will resume service next month

‘We are pleased to confirm that we will be resuming scheduled service on June 1, 2020’

MP Rachel Blaney feels low-income boost for seniors falls short, but is pleased with the support for commercial fishers

‘Seniors in our communities have been asking for help with additional costs due to COVID-19’

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read