West Nipissing OPP have charged a 12-year-old with three counts of mischief after a newly erected tipi at Our Lady of Sorrows School was damaged last week.
Police say the tipi suffered damage on June 3, when one of the poles was busted. It was damaged again over the weekend when the tipi’s canvas was slashed.
OPP say two young people were involved, but they cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
As a result of the investigation, a 12-year-old from West Nipissing was arrested and charged with: mischief in relation to cultural property, mischief under $5,000, and mischief over $5,000.
The accused was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in July in West Nipissing.
The other youth involved is under 12 and cannot be charged under provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. Police have spoken to both the individual and parents/guardians.
“We are extremely disappointed to learn of the vandalism that occurred over the weekend to the outdoor tipi at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Sturgeon Falls,” read a statement from the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board. “The tipi holds cultural significance and is used by the whole school community to learn about First Nation history and culture. NPSC is saddened by this destruction and is working collaboratively with local community partners in light of this information.”
Public speaker and advocate George Couchie was also upset about the damage, but shared some good news over Facebook that Jack Serran of Arctic Canvas Inc. has reportedly offered to repair the slashed tipi at no cost.