Pokémon Go Stop on Sacred Burial Site Infuriates Indigenous People
Enthusiasts of Pokémon Go in Prince George, B.C., Canada have been gathering at the entrance at the sacred Lheidli T'enneh burial ground to search for Pokemon monsters, much to the chagrin of Kym Gouchie (Lheidli T'enneh) who says her ancestors are buried at the site.
According to CBC News, Gouchie was paying respects at her father’s gravesite on Sunday when she noticed dozens of Pokémon Go players searching the sacred First Nations burial ground.
"It's sacred there," Gouchie told CBC. "This land was once my ancestral land. This is the only little piece of land inside Prince George that is ours, and you are disrespecting it. My dad, my uncles, my cousin, my great grandmother are all buried there."
The burial ground is open to the public within the Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park, but Gouchie says the presence of a Pokéstop -- a virtual location in the game where Pokémon Go players gather supplies to catch monsters -- is disrespectful.
"This has to stop," said Gouchie. "This game has only been live in Canada for one week. It's only a matter of time before that burial site is filled with Pokémon Go people.
"I was thinking, I need our K'san [traditional] drummers out here so we can block both these gates and ... stop this," she said.
Gouchie does not blame the players, but does blame the game creator Niantic. She has submitted a request to the game developers to have the Pokéstop removed and reported the incident to her tribal council.
Follow ICTMN’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling
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