‘So happy everyone is here’: Hundreds show up to support Island First Nation youth after confrontation

'So happy everyone is here': Hundreds show up to support Island First Nation youth after confrontation

Kingston (HÍSW̱ḴE SIÁM) Daniels and his cousin, SÍEŁTEN Elliott, weren’t expecting a confrontational moment while eating lunch and singing a traditional W̱SÁNEĆ song at a Brentwood strip mall.

Daniels had asked Elliott to film him singing, which is something they do often to practice and preserve their W̱SÁNEĆ culture and language. In the video, a man comes up and says to Daniels, “Are you just trying to f***ing annoy people?”

Daniels responded saying sorry and that he was just singing. The man then responded with, “Yeah… well don’t.”

The confrontation had W̱SÁNEĆ community members in the Central Saanich area upset and concerned for the two boys.

“I was singing it and this guy comes up and then he just, he didn’t like my singing very much I guess? […] He got angry, he swore at me,” Daniels told CHEK News.

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As a show of supports, hundreds of people gathered in the parking lot close to where the incident happened in order to heal and uplift the two boys who some say were the victims of a racist interaction.

“I am just so happy everyone is here for me and my best buddy, my cousin, SÍEŁTEN Elliott, he’s super cool. It just means so much to me for everyone to be here,” said Daniels.

Daniels told CHEK News that he wants everyone who watched the video to know that he has learned a valuable lesson that you are never truly alone.

Elders at today’s gathering also made it clear that the rallies are not a protest or a confrontational moment but rather an opportunity to surround their youth with love and come together as one to heal from an unfortunate moment.

Kingston (HÍSW̱ḴE SIÁM) Daniels is pictured at the rally on July 10, 2024. (CHEK News)

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