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

COLUMN | Waste carts

Columnist Andre Carrel talks about garbage collection in Terrace

Officials for Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project named

Project is estimated to cost $450 million

Letter to the editor: I stand with them

Hazelton resident shares his perspective on why he supports the Wet’suwet’en

Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop

Driver was sent to Prince Rupert hospital after stealing the running vehicle from company lot

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read