Signs put up along Tachie Road near Binche have been destroyed.
The signs were put in place to raise awareness among members of the Tl’azt’en Nation and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council members of Binche Reserve’s desire to separate, said Josh Hallman of the Binche Separation Committee.
Tensions appear to be rising between the two communities, with Hallman calling the wrecking of the signs “sickening.”
The signs were cut down with a power saw and then cut into pieces so they can not be put back up.
Hallman said the signs were put up before Tl’azt’en hosted the annual general assembly of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in the hopes they would create awareness and perhaps encourage dialogue and progress.
“It’s time to deal with us too,” said Hallman about his frustration at the lack of progress in the separation negotiations.
Hallman said there has been no progress on the separation negotiations because the committee appointed to deal with the negotiations on the Tl’azt’en Nation side has not been showing up for meetings.
Hallman said there is no excuse for a two and a half year delay and now he wants to see the chief and council at Tl’azt’en take over and make the decisions to move the process forward.
In protest of the lack of progress on the separation, Hallman and Gloria Duncan, who are both elected councillors for Tl’azt’en Nation and members of the Binche Separation Committee, are no longer attending council meetings and will not be participating in the annual general assembly for Tl’azt’en, which is taking place this week.
Hallman said the group is not going to be held hostage by people who will not show up for meetings to represent Tl’azt’en.
“It’s not a good situation when you have one party not willing to deal with it,” said Hallman. “It’s a frustrating, frustrating process.”
There are also unconfirmed reports the Tl’azt’en annual general assembly has resulted in the chief and council being voted out of office before their terms end, which could impact the separation process as well.
Chief Ralph Pierre had not yet returned phone calls and the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada was also yet to respond to questions to their office regarding the separation.