background_fid.jpg
Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Crime, Law and Justice

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

071414JR_RacistGraffiti1.jpg
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.