RCMP vehicles pictured at the 27-kilometre mark of Morice West Forest Service Road. The RCMP has said they have set up the check point to assure safety and mitigate concerns surrounding a number of hazardous items found in close proximity to a number of felled logs further down the road. (Trevor Hewitt photos)

Gidimt’en clan comdemning RCMP action after elder arrested at checkpoint

Carmen Nikal, 73, was arrested late Friday night and was released without charges

The Gidimt’en clan is publicly condemning the arrest of an elder at the RCMP checkpoint located on the Morice West Forest Service Road.

In a Feb. 1 press release they said 73-year-old Carmen Nikal was arrested on Jan. 31 while trying to pass the checkpoint.

The release says Nikal — who has been an adopted member of the clan’s Cas Yex house for over four decades — was arrested following refusal to provide identification to RCMP at the checkpoint. It adds she has since been released without charge.

The release says that Nikal was asked to show identification to RCMP officers despite not being the driver of the vehicle.

“RCMP refused to provide reasons for stopping the vehicle en route to Cas Yex territory, and cited violations of the Motor Vehicle Act. Carmen Nikal was a passenger in the vehicle and therefore was not lawfully required to identify herself to police,” the release says.

In their original release regarding the access control checkpoint the RCMP say that “occupants requesting entry will be required to state their purpose, and provide identification.”

READ MORE: RCMP create access control checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road

The release says that the arrest of Nikal is in stark contrast to commitments by the RCMP to stand down as talks between the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and Province commence this week.

Following that announcement the Wet’suwet’en say the RCMP have continued to conduct patrols on the territory and the checkpoint at the 27 kilometre mark is still in place.

The release says RCMP have also refused multiple requests from the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to dismantle the Community-Industry Safety Office (C-ISO) – a remote detachment built on Gisday’wa house territory which they say was done without consent.

“We are alarmed that as discussions are ongoing to advance peaceful outcomes, a large force of police officers are being deployed from throughout the Province to Wet’suwet’en territory,” the release says.

“Good faith discussions between the Wet’suwet’en and the Province cannot occur while we are under duress, and while our families and guests face the threat of police violence. The Province has yet to consider any alternative to the forceful invasion of our territory and removal of Wet’suwet’en people from our land.”

In a Dec. 24, 2019 press release the RCMP state that the (C-ISO) was put in place “at the request of the hereditary chiefs for constant police presence.”

The Interior News has reached out to both parties for further verification.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Council votes to pen letter to fisheries minister asking for earlier Chinook opening date

The DFO is set to reassess Chinook fishing ban in Skeena River on July 15

Native Women’s Association calls for police reform in wake of recent Indigenous deaths

Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi both recently died following interactions with police

Town pushes forward with Active Transportation Plan, postpones Third Street bike lane

The Strategic Priority Committee made a number of recommendations at their June 2 meeting

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read