A clash between forestry contractors and protestors was captured on video in Huu-ay-aht First Nations territory in early May 2021. (SCREENSHOT)

A clash between forestry contractors and protestors was captured on video in Huu-ay-aht First Nations territory in early May 2021. (SCREENSHOT)

B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations will be implementing access restrictions and safety measures within their territory following a couple of incidents on Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry land.

Logging in TFL 44 was halted on May 5 after an encounter took place between protesters and a contractor in the Carmanah Walbran region. A video released to the media shows workers swearing at activists, telling them to go back to Victoria and take their tents back to the city. One worker threatened a person recording the exchange, knocking a smartphone out of the person’s hand and onto the ground. Audio of a brief scuffle can be heard with someone saying “grab that phone.”

READ MORE: Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

On Thursday, May 6, another incident took place in a Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. Eye-witness accounts confirm a forestry protester drove through safety barriers into an active logging area, putting the safety of the driver and the forestry workers at risk.

“Any protest activity that puts human life at risk is completely unacceptable,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. “While we support the right to peaceful and legal protest, it must not disrupt safe forestry operations. Equally, Huu-ay-aht First Nations strongly condemns the use of racist language, intimidation, or other acts of violence directed at protesters who are peacefully and legally protesting.”

On Monday, May 10, members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations were conducting check points, asking people who enter the territory to respect the sacred principles and to act accordingly while on Huu-ay-aht land. They also handed out notices that shared a map of the territory.

TFL 44 LP has hired Dan Johnston, a conflict prevention and resolution specialist, to prepare a report and recommendations on how to ensure continued safe forestry operations, while also ensuring individuals are able to exercise their right to peaceful and legal protest.

Dennis stressed that Huu-ay-aht is doing its part to maintain a respectful and safe community and workplace while Johnston conducts this work.

“We ask everyone – forest companies, forest workers, environmental groups, Indigenous and non-Indigenous protesters, the RCMP, the BC government, the USW, Worksafe BC, First Nations and their citizens and members – to do your part as well,” Dennis said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Bamfield

 

Members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations conducted two checkpoints on Monday, May 10, asking people who enter the territory to respect the sacred principles and to act accordingly while on Huu-ay-aht land. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations conducted two checkpoints on Monday, May 10, asking people who enter the territory to respect the sacred principles and to act accordingly while on Huu-ay-aht land. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read