Three signs directing people to white nationalist and alt-right websites were posted to a Maliseet language welcome sign at St. Thomas University in Fredericton earlier this week.

They were spotted as the university was in the midst of a three-day conference on reconciliation with the Indigenous community.

The signs featured slogans such as "Equality is a false god" and "Critical thought is a crime." One of the posters featured a drawing of a man and a woman, who appear to be white, with the slogan "We have a right to exist." It directs people to an alt-right website.

Signs removed quickly

Jeffrey Carleton, a spokesperson for the university, said while it's not clear that the posters were put up because of the conference, it's not a stretch to believe they were.

"These events, and other events like them, are very prominent on our website and on our social media accounts," Carleton said.


Signs similar to the one posted above were attached to a Maliseet welcoming sign at St. Thomas University. (Jordan Gill/CBC)

He said he doubts the signs were posted by St. Thomas students and said the school doesn't have an alt-right problem.

"I've been here for almost 15 years. I'm only aware of one or two occasions in that time period where there were what could be considered, or called today in the popular vernacular, alt-right posters on campus," said Carleton.

Carleton said the signs were removed Thursday morning as soon as the administration was made aware of their existence. He also said staff searched the campus for more signs, but couldn't find any.

Jeffrey Carleton

Jeffrey Carleton, the director of communications for St. Thomas University, said the signs were taken down as soon as their existence was made known to staff. (CBC)

Conference on respect, reconciliation

The university doesn't want the signs to overshadow the work done during the conference, he said. 

"The events we had this week were about diversity, they were about respect, they were about reconciliation, they were about asking tough questions and trying to work through the answers. We wanted to stay focused on what we're doing ... and not become distracted by an act of vandalism," said Carleton.