October 26, 2023
Comox Valley, BC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Action4Canada is not welcome in K’ómoks Territory. Events that promote hate, division, and racism have no place in our community.
K’ómoks First Nation stands firmly against any form of racism, hate, and discrimination within our community. It has come to our attention that two events featuring Ms. Tanya Gaw and her organization, Action4Canada, are raising significant concerns. One event is scheduled at the Bay Community Church in Comox tonight on October 26, and another at Living Waters Fellowship Church in Black Creek on October 27.
We vehemently denounce any actions that perpetuate ideologies rooted in hatred, division, and prejudice. In the spirit of solidarity, we join our voices with the Tseshaht First Nation Elected Chief and Council and ḥaw̓iiḥ (Hereditary Chiefs), municipal governments, and community members who have taken a principled stance against these events and the divisive ideologies they promote. Racism and hate have no place in our community. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our territory remains a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for all.
We are compelled to acknowledge that local elected officials and members of the greater community have shared their concerns with one of the churches, but the church has chosen to move forward in hosting this event. We respect the principles of freedom of expression and differing perspectives. However, we firmly believe it is crucial for all members of our community to critically evaluate the content and messages propagated by events like these. Events promoting hate, division, and racism should never find a foothold within our communities.
It is deeply disheartening to witness the promotion of divisive beliefs and racism, as exemplified by Ms. Gaw’s recent social media statements. On October 12, Ms. Gaw posted “It’s time to pull the plug and end the charade of the Truth and Reconciliation witch hunt. The graves are empty and indigenous violence is their own doing!” on X (formerly known as Twitter). We stand firm with declaring that Ms. Gaw and her organization, Action4Canada, are not welcome in our territory, which encompasses the Comox Valley.
Our community, like every Indigenous community in this country, has endured the painful legacy of residential schools, with living members who attended both residential and day school, and families who continue to be impacted by these systems to this day. Denial of the realities of residential schools and the unmarked graves that have come to light is not only offensive but perpetuates the cycle of pain and trauma.
We align ourselves with the Tseshaht First Nation and all those who have called upon our local governments, businesses, and community members to take an unwavering stance against hate and racism. Racism is an affliction that continues to impact our Nation and communities, and we are not immune to its presence. However, we believe that those who support prejudice and divisive views represent a local minority. The vast majority of our community in the Comox Valley stands united against bigotry of any kind.
We stand with our neighbours and allies in the fight against racism, and we stand together in unity and love.
K’ómoks Elected Chief & Council
Ken Price, Elected Chief Councillor
Coral Mackay, Elected Councillor
Candace Newman, Elected Councillor
Susan Savoie, Elected Councillor