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Idaho Tribe Seeks Information On Vandals Behind 'White Power' Message

Northwest News Network | July 14, 2014 8 p.m.

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Vandals defaced a sign off Highway 95 on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.

Vandals defaced a sign off Highway 95 on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.

Coeur d'Alene Tribe

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho is asking for information that will lead to the person who wrote “white power” and other racist messages on a reservation historical marker over the weekend.

The writing was discovered on a sign for the former site of the DeSmet Mission south of Plummer. The message also included the words “die … Indians,” an expletive and what appear to be swastikas.

Groups that have worked to drive white supremacist elements out of north Idaho are condemning the act. Tony Stewart, one of the founders of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said, “We denounce it in the most strong terms. It is racist. It is filled with hatred and it’s very depressing to us to know that kind of attitude and belief is anywhere in the world.”

Stewart said the vandalism is more likely the work of “lone wolves” than the re-emergence of any organized group. In the 1980s and ‘90s, the Aryan Nations had its world headquarters in Hayden, Idaho.

Stewart said the person who defaced the sign could be charged with a federal hate crime.

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