Last Friday night, Queen’s Campus Security contacted Four Directions Director Kandice Baptiste about a newly discovered tear along the seam of the student centre tipi. The tear is approximately five feet in length. Kingston Police is still investigating flags that were vandalized at the Four Directions Student Centre on Tuesday, June 23rd.
On July 29th, Baptiste released a lengthy statement on the matter addressing the acts of vandalism. She believes that Four Directions is being targeted because of their vocal stance on protecting Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ communities.
“These ongoing acts demonstrate that 4D is being targeted, in my opinion, for our vocal and visible stance on protecting the sacredness of Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ folks and communities. When we do this work, it comes with great responsibility and risk – it is time the Queen’s community begins to understand this risk.” Baptiste says.
Despite the acts of vandalism, Baptiste has stated that it will not deter her from calling out acts of racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and all other hateful and parasitic views in society.
“If the people committing these acts think that it will stop me from calling out racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and all other hateful and parasitic views in our society, then they must not know who I am and who my team is. Our ancestors come from the breath of the Creator and we are connected to them at all times. We are connected to their strength, resilience, strategic thinking, resourcefulness, and most importantly to their love. And I will take my ancestors, my community, my family, and my team over anyone, and anything, any day of the week.” Baptiste says.
In response to these attacks, Four Directions has been working closely with Campus Security to increase security in the area. “security cameras, floodlights, and additional measures to keep the centre and space safe. We are committed to the safety of our staff, students, and space and will continue to ensure that all needed measures are taken.” The tipi will also be repaired with assistance of the Elders in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.
Baptiste encourages those affected by this to contact Lisa Doxtator, Cultural Counsellor, or herself, at [email protected],