The latest in “signs of things gone bad” at Springwater Park evokes another offer of welcome and accommodation by First Nations allies.

Are Barrie and Midhurst residents willing to let the “morons” define their communities?

Beth Ian McInroy

Elizabeth Brass Elson, of Beausoleil First Nation, looks over the remains of a ceremonial teepee which was destroyed by vandals Saturday night at Springwater Provincial Park, located north of Barrie. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/POSTMEDIA

Ian McInroy reports for the Barrie Examiner in Teepee set on fire at Springwater park:

A ceremonial Anishinaabe teepee in Springwater Provincial Park north of Barrie was destroyed by vandals over the weekend.

Huronia West OPP and Springwater Township firefighters were called to the park at approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday after learning the teepee had been burned.

There were no injuries and no other damage to property.

Elizabeth Brass Elson, of Beausoleil First Nation, said it’s the fourth incident of racist-related vandalism in Springwater park in Midhurst.

She was one of several Anishinaabe women who occupied the park the day after the Ministry of Natural Resources (now the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) deemed the 193-hectare facility non-operational in March 31 2013.

“The teepee being burned is another sign of things gone bad here,” she said, standing next to the scorched frame that once made up the canvas teepee.

“They are all racist comments,” Brass Elson said. “People are not educated about aborginal treaties and native rights. This is a very spiritual place.”

How can those that say they love Springwater Park show their appreciation to our ancient land stewards?

Brass Elson said there is a way for area residents to show support for Springwater park and the Beausoleil First Nation’s efforts to manage it during an event at the park on Saturday, May 23. It will celebrate the victory over proposed landfill Site 41 north of Elmvale in September 2009 as well as Camp Nibi — the Anishinaabe name for fresh water, or spring water — when women occupied the park after it was deemed non-operational.

“We’re having a potluck on Saturday. People can bring their families and food,” she said. “In times like these, allies are needed to save the land and save the water.”

The potluck gets underway at 5 p.m. All are invited.

Is this really the way to welcome back our new neighbours?

Supplied photo

Vandals burned down a First Nations teepee at Springwater Provincial Park sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning. Provincial police are investigating. Photo supplied

Stupidity has a certain charm — ignorance does not. Frank Zappa

Michelle Hardy

Michelle Hardy and Stewart Patterson, along with little Elle, walk through Springwater Provincial Park Monday afternoon. Hardy was shocked that vandals would destroy a First Nations teepee Saturday night in the park, located north of Barrie. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER

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