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

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

Grade 5 Wood Elementary Students cycling on the powerline trail. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Wood School bicycles, equipment worth $8,000 stolen

Equipment was stored at Echo Fieldhouse in Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Kobe Assam battles for the puck despite being knocked to the ice during a physical first period against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on April 7. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs pick up second shutout against Cowichan

Braden Blace earns first BCHL goal and game-winner

Port Alberni city hall. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni adopts tax increase below 4% for 2021

Financial plan looks for balance between residents, industry

Police cordoned off the block of Fifth Avenue from Burde Street to Bute Street in front of the Phoenix House sobering centre in the early-morning hours of Sunday, April 4, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Port Alberni stabbing suspect arrested in Nanaimo

Man was also in possession of fentanyl: RCMP

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read