A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Ucluelet woman apologizes after comparing B.C. mask mandate to residential schools

First Nations Chief Moses Martin, a survivor said ‘I’ll put a mask on any day instead of the experience that I had’

A Vancouver Island business owner has apologized after comparing children being mandated to wear masks in B.C. schools to the residential school system, sparking concern from a local First Nation chief.

Angie Roussin, the owner of Pina Styles printing shops in Tofino and Ucluelet, made a post on Instagram on April 2. In it, she said “kindergarten kids are being asked to wear masks all day.”

In B.C. schools, masks are required for students in Grade 4 and up, although younger kids are encouraged to wear them.

“Our government is harming our kids on purpose like they have done with so many children in the past. All our schools have become residential schools,” read Roussin’s caption.

The post, which has since been edited to remove the comparison that sparked outrage, included an apology, but not before it was shared widely on social media.

“My deepest apologies to all the Indigenous people that have suffered enough and to everyone that I hurt.”

“The purpose was to highlight the horrors of our Canadian government and that the worst crimes against humanity were not only legal, but mandated.”

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations Chief Moses Martin told Black Press Media he was grieved to hear of Roussin’s comments.

Martin is a survivor of Canada’s residential school system. His older brother died in residential school. Another of his siblings came home, but with a broken back.

“I’ll put a mask on any day instead of the experience that I had,” Martin said.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bat Packs are the newest addition to the FVRL Playground, and have everything you need to learn more about bats, and track them in your neighbourhood. (FVRL image)
Bat Packs at Fraser Valley libraries come with echometer to track bats

Packs are the newest part of the FVRL Playground inventory

Walnut Grove Secondary Student Anna Pyper’s artwork is a self portrait that focuses on the effects of the pandemic on pizza boxes with their most missed memory of before COVID painted on the inside. (Special to The Star)
Langley students tackle masks and pre-COVID memories with pizza box art project

West Fine Art Show showcasing art class photography, paintings and sculptures until April 30

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Langley, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge still driving more, taking transit less

A local letter writer is irate that tourists and people in the area of the resort community of Whistler are considered a higher vaccination priority than emergency personnel and other frontline workers. (Whistler Blackcomb photo)
LETTER: Langley man loses confidence in NDP after Whistler vaccination decision

Emergency personnel and other frontline workers should be vaccinated before Whistler tourists

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)
Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim that ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

Most Read