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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read