Unique First Nations tools stolen

Four suitcases with important teaching tools were taken from a Langley Aboriginal program teacher.

Be on the lookout for a plastic grizzly skull, some fake animal poop and several replica First Nation tools, asks Karen Gabriel, also known around Langley as the Bannock Lady.

Gabriel had four suitcases full of educational tools stolen from the trunk of her car on or near Valentine’s Day. The theft either took place near the casino or at the apartments on 207 Street in Langley City.

“What was taken is of no use to anyone except me, but a great educational loss to the hundreds of students I teach each school year,” said Gabriel.

Gabriel, also known as the Plant Lady and the Wolf Lady, has been a teacher with the district’s Aboriginal program for 20 years.

“I have been teaching seven programs for 20 years. This means I have taught some of your children or grandchildren,” points out Gabriel.

What makes this theft particularly hard to take is the replica First Nation tools, made of stone, bone, shells and antlers, were made by Gabriel’s late husband.

“The [tools] can’t be replaced and of course have a very sentimental value,” she said.

The first suitcase was green and red and contained tools. The second suitcase was filled with artificial rubber paws of different animals, two skull replicas made of plastic.

“The grizzly skull is huge and a big hit with kids,” she said.

This suitcase also contained artificial scat, also known as animal droppings.

The third suitcase is purple and contained craft materials. The fourth contained stamps and stamp pads so children could make nature pictures to take home to their parents.

Gabriel is asking for the return of any of these items, no question asked. “I am willing to pay a reward.”

The items can be dropped off at any Langley school.

If the items aren’t returned, she is asking for anyone looking to donate Native tools or animal skulls to her program so she can continue teaching children about First Nation culture and history.

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