Events organized by Action4Canada are not welcome in K’ómoks First Nation territory, according to an Oct. 26 statement from the First Nation’s chief and council.
Action4Canada describes itself as a grassroots movement that opposes “the destructive policies tearing at the fabric of this nation.” It was founded by Tanya Gaw, who was on a speaking tour of Vancouver Island last week, including a stop at Bay Community Church in Comox on Oct. 26.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network describes the group as “one of the country’s most active Christian Nationalist organizations with a history of Islamophobic, conspiratorial, and anti-2SLGBTQ+ activism.”
The K’ómoks First Nation stated that “it is deeply disheartening to witness the promotion of divisive beliefs and racism, as exemplified by Ms. Gaw’s recent social media statements.”
The release quoted from a post that Gaw shared on Oct. 12 on X (formerly Twitter), where she denied the existence of residential school graves, and argued to “pull the plug” on what she referred to as “the charade of the Truth and Reconciliation witch hunt.”
K’ómoks First Nation said that Gaw and Action4Canada “are not welcome in our territory, which encompasses the Comox Valley.”
Tseshaht First Nation also spoke out against the group, which also planned an event in Port Alberni.
Comox Valley Pride shared that they stand with K’ómoks First Nation’s statement: “We wholeheartedly respect and support K'ómoks First Nation in their choice to ban racist public speakers from their traditional unceded territory.”
Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) published a press release on Oct. 27 that expressed support for K’ómoks First Nation, although it did not directly mention or respond to the Action4Canada events.
“We strongly discourage any actions that continue growing hatred, division, and prejudice within our region,” stated CVRD board chair Jesse Ketler in the release. “We are a small community filled with diversity and we need to respect each other, promote kindness, and continue to keep our community a welcoming, safe place for everyone.”
Madeline Dunnett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse