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

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read