Queen Victoria statue in Kitchener doused in red paint
A controversial Kitchener statue has been vandalized again.
Red paint was found splattered over the base of the statue of Queen Victoria at Victoria Park on Thursday.
The monument was vandalized twice over the summer as hundreds of unmarked graves were found at former residential schools across Canada. Calls have been made to remove it due to its connection to Canada’s colonialist past.
The outcry prompted the city to install signage in front of the statue that reads in part: “The cultural harm and erasure inflicted on First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples is a direct result of this colonialism. The City of Kitchener acknowledges that the presence of this statue in Victoria Park may contribute to that ongoing harm.”
Those signs were also covered in paint Thursday. Waterloo regional police were seen at Victoria Park investigating.
While the exact reason why the statue was defaced at this time in not known, Thursday marked Red Dress Day, an annual day which honours Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
CITY WILL NOT REMOVE PAINT
In a statement to CTV, the City of Kitchener said “for the time being” it will not remove the paint.
The city said it acknowledges the statue and the colonial legacy it represents “contributes to the ongoing harm of Indigenous peoples.”
“We continue to work with municipal partners and local Indigenous, racialized and marginalized communities to move towards reconciliation and a more equitable city. This includes making decisions about our statues, place names and more,” the city’s statement said in part.