As drivers arrived at the Huu-ay-aht First Nation’s forested lands Monday, they were stopped and warned to be mindful.
Visitors were also told to conduct themselves respectfully.
“We just want to be out here to promote safety and wellness when they’re out in our territory because those are values that we hold very highly,” said Tayii ?aw?i? ?iišin Derek Peters, Huu-ay-aht’s Hereditary Chief.
It comes after blockaders crossed an active logging area on Huu-ay-aht land last Thursday.
According to the First Nation, a protester drove through safety barriers into an active logging area, putting their own and workers’ safety at risk.
The protest group, Rainforest Flying Squad said video of the incident shows an Indigenous youth being assaulted by a forestry worker at an encampment set up to protest the logging of old-growth forests.
Peters says he was disturbed by the incident.
“We want to be proactive in this and recognizing that we have those voices as well within our first nation that are opposed to logging and how logging is happening but there is also a right way to do things.”
Peters says the First Nation is extremely concerned about old-growth and how to manage its resources for future generations.
He also says he’d like to see those involved in the blockades use their energy in more proactive ways.
“There are other ways of doing things and bringing attention and awareness to what’s happening to the landscape.”
A forestry contractor for the First Nation says crossing an active logging area created a dangerous situation.
“When there’s something across the road saying it’s an active falling area. No one passes and the only way you pass is you radio the operator saying ‘can I come in or not?'” said Stanley Coleman, Owner of Rocky Point Forest Services.
The notice given to drivers asks visitors to observe three of the First Nation’s Sacred Principles of utmost respect, taking care and that everything is connected.
It says the safety and wellbeing of all Indigenous & non-Indigenous people on our land must never be put at risk.
The activists’ CHEK News contacted today have yet to respond.