Residential school tributes violate bylaws in Peachland | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Residential school tributes violate bylaws in Peachland

Peachland council is being asked to make a decision about whether to allow memorials like these painted rocks to be placed in parks.
Image Credit: Submitted/District of Peachland
July 13, 2021 - 7:30 AM

District of Peachland staff want council to decide whether painted rocks and other tributes should be allowed in parks.

A report going to council tomorrow, July 13, says there are a growing number of rocks and other memorial tributes that have to be removed by staff because they violate district bylaws.

“On June 14, the mayor and staff received a complaint about growing vandalism, defacement and graffiti along Beach Avenue,” the report states. “Upon investigation, staff discovered three benches with flowers, a tree decorated with wooden ornaments and a shrine and painted rocks on the beach.”

The materials were removed by city staff the next day.

“Bylaw then received a complaint stating that the area was being used as a memorial for a prominent Peachlander who has passed, as well as rocks were painted for the 215 children found in graves at the Kamloops Residential School,” the report to council states. “The Parks bylaw was explained to the complainant and since that time, there are more painted rocks on the beach.”

The existing parks bylaw prohibits a variety of materials from being left in parks but, in 2016, added an exemption for silk ribbons that can be tied to the corners of one memorial bench on Beach Avenue.

That’s across the road from 5648 Beach Ave. and was donated in the memory of Ashlee Hyatt who, at the age of 16, was stabbed to death at a house party in 2010.

READ MORE: Killer of Ashlee Hyatt sentenced to prison, probation

The report does not suggest any specific wording changes but asks that council give staff direction regarding memorials and art in parks.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, staff is seeking direction to determine if council would like to change the Parks Regulation Bylaw to provide latitude for shrines or art in parks,” the report says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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