A daycare centre for Indigenous children in Grand Forks was reportedly vandalized after construction barricades were destroyed in the centre’s parking lot late Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The Talking Little Feet centre’s manager, Laranna Androsoff, said staff began finding cigarette butts and empty liquor bottles left by late-night visitors to the daycare’s covered porch three weeks after the facility opened its doors to children on July 13.
The daycare provides meals and all-day care to 24 Indigenous children in the Grand Forks-Boundary area, Androsoff explained.
Androsoff added that someone broke children’s toys and chairs left on the porch over the weekend, Aug. 21-23.
She explained that contractors are still building the centre’s playground and had put up barriers in the parking lot at the request of School District 51 after cars reportedly drove ‘donuts’ into the grass field at Grand Forks Secondary School located next door.
The school district had warned the daycare that vandalism has been a problem in the past, Androsoff said, adding that Wednesday’s incident was “something we had hoped wouldn’t happen.”
Community members have voiced support for Talking Little Feet on Facebook after the daycare reported the vandalism on the social network Friday, Aug. 28.
“This is so sad and unnecessary,” posted Grand Forks resident Laura Savinkoff, who volunteers at British Columbia’s Southern Interior Peace Coalition.
“The children don’t deserve this,” wrote Debbie Prodaniuk.
Speaking for Grand Forks RCMP, Sgt. Darryl Peppler said an officer met with Androsoff at the daycare on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Mounties have stepped up night patrols in the area around the daycare and the school, which cannot be seen from Highway 3, he added.
RCMP have found no evidence to suggest any kind of racist motive behind Thursday’s vandalism, according to Peppler.