Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears in this photo, released by Time Magazine, in dark makeup on his face, neck and hands at a 2001 “Arabian Nights”-themed party at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy, where he was a teacher. (Time)

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Recently released photos of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brownface and blackface are causing an uproar across the country and, B.C.’s Skeena-Bulkley Valley is no exception.

Wet’suwet’en Chief Na’Moks, who also goes by the name John Ridsdale, was unequivocal that it sows fear within Indigenous communities.

“When you have an elected official who actually has photos of that subject matter made public, it affects everybody,” he said.

“It’s such a terrible thing where this country has two parties, either Liberal or Conservative, and you always have to take the best of the worst, I guess.

“That’s what we did when he got in last time, and now between him and that Scheer madness, I thought one was more racist than the other, but now it appears they seem to be neck and neck.”

READ MORE: Party leaders react to Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell

The first photo, published on Wednesday by Time Magazine, shows Trudeau in 2001 in dark makeup, wearing a turban during an “Arabian Nights”-themed party at the Vancouver private school where he was a teacher.

Trudeau apologized that evening and acknowledged a second photo of him in brownface. On Thursday morning, a third racist photo of him, this time in blackface, emerged.

READ MORE: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Conservative candidate Claire Rattée said that’s not good enough.

“It’s shocking and pretty disgusting to see something like that coming from our prime minister,” she said. “It was wrong then, it’s wrong now, and I don’t think he’s given a reasonable apology on that at all. I don’t think that he actually understands the gravity of what he’s done.”

Dave Birdi, the Liberal candidate and himself a person of South Asian descent, downplayed the issue.

“My main focus is on jobs,” he said. “With this, I do have trust with Trudeau.

“Those photos of Justin Trudeau don’t matter. What matters are jobs. And wherever I go in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley that’s what I hear.”

Chief Na’Moks said he worries what it means for Indigenous people going forward.

“Canada is supposed to be a pretty caring and sharing country and when you get down to dirty politics, these things come out, but just the fact that he has these, is really disturbing,” he said.

“It’s pretty unfair when you have a two-party country. You have options in third and fourth place, but they seem to go down in the polls. This year, I think, the political race is going to get dirtier and dirtier by the day.”



editor@interior-news.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

Koalas’ plight inspires White Rock students to action

Grade 2, 3 kids raise $1,000 for wildlife devastated in Australian wildfires

Surrey man’s extensive report calls city’s policing claims ‘unsubstantiated garbage’

Surrey’s Richard Landale has taken public engagement to a whole new level

Surrey’s Eat the Dishes named finalist in Small Business BC awards

Marissa Bergeron says she ‘jumped for joy’ when she found out

UPDATED: Surrey RCMP say man suspected of impaired driving, assault has been arrested

Cory Ulmer Brown is white, six feet two inches tall, 196 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair

474 Surrey intersections monitored by live-feed cameras

Cameras prove to be useful tool for commuters, ICBC, RCMP

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘I was alone’: B.C. woman warns others after robber attempts to force her to ATM

Manj Sidhu-Gill was alone in a parking lot on Jan. 15, when a man approached dressed in all black

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Most Read