Community rallies in B.C. after Indigenous teens accosted for singing

"Everything we do, even if it's just walking, we do with an open heart"
rally
Around 200 people rallied in Brentwood Bay on July 9 after two teenagers were verbally abused for singing the day before.

Around 200 people rallied in Brentwood Bay Tuesday evening (July 9) after two First Nations youths were accosted earlier this week for singing an Indigenous song outside a nearby store.

The demonstration was in response to an incident captured on video the day prior. In the video, posted to social media, a teen named Kingston can be seen singing and tapping a bottle before a man approaches him and his friend and can be heard saying "are you just trying to f***ing annoy people or what?"

Kingston replied by saying "Oh sorry, I was just singing," when the man said "well, stop it," and walked away. That's when the video ends.

The confrontation is believed to have happened in the 7000 block of West Saanich Road. It's unclear at this time if police were called; portdanielpress has reached out to Central Saanich police.

Kingston's aunt posted the video on Facebook, which has been viewed 146,000 times, as of July 10.

"This hurts my heart....our communities are working so hard to raise our babies to be strong, and proud of their identities," Megan Marie wrote. "We want them to feel safe to openly express themselves as Indigenous people, especially on our homelands!"

The rally started with Kingston and his cousin, who filmed the video, finishing the song he was told to stop singing the day before. Rally attendees also sang, danced and drummed to a number of Indigenous songs throughout the evening.

"Everything we do, even if it's just walking, we do with an open heart," said Patrick James Leon, a relative of Kingston. "You shouldn't have to say sorry for being cultured. We are always taught to be proud of who we are. My grandmother's grandmother's grandmother has been doing this for generations and generations and we're still here."

Kingston also spoke at the rally and expressed to the crowd how proud he is of his First Nation roots and thanked everyone for coming in solidarity.



Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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