Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
November 05, 2020
Port Alberni, BC – The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council stands in complete support and solidarity with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations (MMFN) as they assert their jurisdiction and control over a road going through their Ahaminaquus reserve. (IR#12) and are stopping any Western Forest Products (WFP) vehicles from using that road. This is not a blockade by any means, it is just MMFN using their authority to regulate traffic through their reserve.
There is no road use agreement in place between Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, the Province of BC, nor Western Forest Products, a company that transports millions of dollars of product through MMFN IR#12 annually via Hwy 28. Until an agreement is reached, continued travel through MMFN IR#12 shall be considered trespassing by WFP. This road was put in place 50 years ago without the consent of MMFN and WFP has been using the road for 20 years without permission of MMFN. It is time for BC to resolve these outstanding issues with reserve lands.
President Judith Sayers states, “Despite millions of dollars being transported through their reserve annually, MMFN has yet to see a penny in compensation. MMFN is entirely entitled to be compensated for the commercial exploitation of their lands and resources.”
Vice-president Mariah Charleson adds, “If BC wants to be real about reconciliation, they need to start with acknowledging our rights and well-being. The fact that this road has been travelling directly through MMFN IR#12 for 50 years, with zero compensation provided to the Nation, is an example of how ‘Reconciliation’ hasn’t quite been successful, in many instances, on the ground.”
The NTC asks WFP to respect the authority of the Hawiih of MMFN and not use their roads.