Indian Head skatepark vandalized with hateful graffiti

After Indian Head, Sask., sounded the alarm on vandalism this summer after Pride crosswalks were spray-painted at a local high school, another community space has been hit.

A skatepark for the community’s youth was vandalized with spray-paint on Sept. 22, with some directed toward members of the LGBTQ2 community.

Rod Vance, a volunteer who helped implement the skatepark, said after five years of kids respecting the park, it is upsetting to see more acts of vandalism.

“Everybody came together for this and it’s a real source of pride in the community,” Vance said. “To see it vandalized that way is just really sad. It’s very frustrating.”

He said his neighbours informed him of the graffiti, and he immediately went to clean it up.

“I was here in about 32 seconds flat. We went and got graffiti remover, and my son and I hopped in there. We spent the better part of the day scrubbing and pressure washing to make it disappear.”

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Vance said if the intention was to send a message, he doesn’t believe it’s working.

“I think that this was just a senseless thing with young kids that were just being stupid,” he said.

RCMP are currently investigating the incident but did not confirm if there were kids involved as the investigation is in the beginning stages.

“If anyone is seen with blue paint on their hands, fingernails, clothing or shoes, that person is probably a good suspect,” Indian Head Const. Marc Beaumont said.

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Steven Cole, the mayor of Indian Head, said both incidents of homophobic graffiti are just people looking for attention.

“I think it’s just kids being kids and looking for attention,” Cole said.

He wasn’t, however, surprised to hear Vance stepped in to clean it up.

“This town is built on volunteerism,” he said. “I wasn’t surprised that he did it, but I was surprised that it was done so fast.”

Vance said moving forward, he hopes more safety measures will be put in place to prevent these sorts of issues from occurring.

“We won’t tolerate this,” he said. “I’ll be approaching council in terms of putting up some cameras now to keep our eye on this and make sure it doesn’t happen again. There’s no room for this kind of hatred, bigotry in the community.”


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