No charges yet in Pootoogook Park vandalism 6 months after incident

Ottawa police say they are still investigating January park sign defacement

Ottawa police are still investigating after a sign welcoming visitors to Annie Pootoogook Park in Ottawa was vandalized in January. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Madalyn Howitt

Ottawa police are still investigating the defacement of a sign marking Annie Pootoogook Park in the city’s downtown, six months after the incident occurred.

In January, a sign welcoming visitors to the park was vandalized with what appeared to be the words “Sandy Hill” written in red spray paint. Police confirmed at the time that they were investigating.

On Tuesday, an Ottawa Police Service spokesperson told Nunatsiaq News that no charges have been laid yet in connection with the vandalism incident.

The sign had been unveiled in November at a ceremony marking the park’s new name in honour of the famed artist, who was originally from Kinngait.

Pootoogook died in Ottawa in 2016.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Sandy Hill on

    Is this newsworthy? Someone tagged a sign. Thousands of people tag signs every day. Do you really think the Ottawa Police are putting any resources into figuring this one out? They never will, nor do they care, because it is a victimless crime. Imagine if every act of vandalism in Nunavut got this level of attention.

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    • Posted by Oh Ima on

      Well, someone didn’t like it that a park is named after an Inuk woman. So this would be considered racist vandalism. White fragility at its best.

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      • Posted by Oliphant on

        Nah, you don’t know why they vandalized the sign. It is just as likely that it had nothing to do with the name. There need to be no higher purpose in vandalism than simply destroying things. Your quick judgement, lacking in circumspection as it typically does, reveals its own brand of fragility, frankly.

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      • Posted by Ottawa resident on

        Kids vandalize signs all the time. The culprit simply wrote something like “Sandy Hill” on it. As a born and raised Ottawan, I spent many summers at Sandy Hill park and found the name Sandy Hill park to be very fitting due to the neighbourhood’s name.

        I was not a fan of the name change and I know there are many that share my feelings, but for someone that grew up in Sandy Hill, the name has an emotional attachment to me, the same way we are seeing many Nunavut communities revert to their traditional Inuktitut names. Nothing but love for Ms. Pootoogook, however she doesnt represent Sandy Hill. She wasnt from Sandy Hill nor did she contribute to Sandy Hill, so why the name change? If plastering the names of various aboriginal people from across Canada onto random parks is the City’s idea of reconciliation, then they are likely going in the wrong direction. The woke Councilors, however, who made this name change a reality, are now able to call themselves allies, which looks great on their resumé.

        To consider the act of vandalizing the sign as being racist tarnishes the dictionary definition of racist, which is already a word that requires prudency as its overuse will result the numbing of the word in its truest sense.

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      • Posted by 867 on

        Someone spraypainted the n-word on the unit of a nurse here of African descent. Let’s not pick and choose what is racist or not, but we can all agree that only one of the two cases of vandalism is in line with the media narrative.

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      • Posted by Dave on

        I do not believe for a second, that the average urban tagger would even know the ethnicity of Annie.

        Most in Ottawa wouldn’t recognize the sign as Inuktitut, and a tagger, much less so.

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