St. Anne's Catholic Church on Upper Similkameen Indian Band land burned down on Saturday, in a fire being treated as suspicious.
Princeton RCMP received a call that St. Anne's was on fire at 3:52 a.m. on June 26.
Less than an hour later, at 4:45 a.m., Keremeos RCMP received a call that Lower Similkameen Indian Band's Lady of Lourdes Chopaka Church was on fire.
Both churches were destroyed.
Elder Carrie Allison of USIB spoke to Penticton Western News about the history of St. Anne’s:
“Our ancestors had to go to Penticton on horse and wagon to haul the lumber to build that church and would walk for miles to come to church rain or shine because it meant so much to them,” she said. “A lot of us suffered, but this is not how we do things, and this is not our way. “
She went on to send a message to whoever is responsible for the fires.
“I feel sorry for you, and I hope you’re satisfied. When your hurt turns to rage it is not healthy for you or your community.”
The Upper Similkameen Indian Band or Upper Smelqmix, is a First Nations band government in British Columbia. The head offices of USIB are located in Hedley, Similkameen Country.