170+ people arrested at blockades opposing Teal-Jones logging on Pacheedaht territory
Video of Katie George-Jim by Brandi Morin.
As of June 4, more than 170 people have been arrested by the RCMP for contravening a court injunction obtained by Teal-Jones Group on May 17 that allows the company to log in an area called Fairy Creek on Pacheedaht territory on Vancouver Island.
While the elected chief of the Pacheedaht First Nation supports the logging, Pacheedaht Elder William (Bill) Jones opposes the logging and furthermore says that half of the 284-person nation also opposes the logging on the territory.
Jones says the old-growth forest is essential to his culture and religion.
He says: “We now must give a gesture to our Great Mother by saying no. The whole world is being run on a colonist extraction economy and it’s at the end of its ‘sucking’ I call it. There are no resources left. I think we are trying to save the last remnants of our own sensitivities. Once the old growth is gone, there is no connection to our historic past.”
Katie George-Jim, also known as xʷ is xʷ čaa, a member of the T’Sou-ke First Nation on southern Vancouver Island, also opposes the logging.
Kai Nagata has tweeted that George-Jim, who was acting as a legal observer, was arrested by the RCMP on May 21. Nagata notes: “Brian Harris is the cop who grabs her by the hood / hair. She has now been charged with assaulting a police officer.”
In this interview clip by Brandi Morin posted on June 3, George-Jim describes the colonial agenda of British Columbia Premier John Horgan.
Settler-ally Alex Hughes explains that this fund was set up in response to a call to action from Huu-ay-aht youth Clappis/ƛapisim. Hughes further notes that George-Jim asked her to facilitate the releasing of these funds to Indigenous land defenders to support them.
That includes: “Support towards their participation in frontline work, as well as aftercare, and healing from colonial violence for Indigenous land defenders.”
It further notes: “100% of funds will go directly to Indigenous land defenders.” Donations can be made to the fund here. As of this date, it has raised $55,312.
On June 5, Siiam Hamilton tweeted: “RCMP blocking a caravan of Nuu Chah Nulth relatives from accessing the territory. I can’t believe it’s 2021 and the cops get to decide when and how Indigenous people access our own land.”