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

Just Posted

Bastion Street bridge closed for construction work

Span connecting downtown to Old City Quarter closed to vehicle traffic for six weeks

Governor General’s Award-winning author launches her new book

Wendy Phillips’s ‘Baggage’ is told in experimental ‘free verse’ style

Nanaimo city councillors to hold e-town hall meeting on strategic priorities

Meeting will take place May 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Wellington Secondary drama program stages adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Production will feature two actresses in the role of Alice

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Most Read