November 6, 2020
(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) – The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) stands with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) who are currently restricting access to a portion of Highway 28 that trespasses upon Ahaminiquus Indian Reserve Number 12, between Gold River and its port. The MMFN has been forced to impose this restriction in response to Western Forest Products Inc.’s (WFP) ongoing use of their lands without consent and the tactics WFP have employed to avoid compensating the MMFN for the use of their road for over 20 years.
The MMFN have stated that their restriction on the highway is not a blockade and does not apply to the general public, but rather to WFP vehicles that continue to undermine MMFN jurisdiction and transport natural resources illegally across their reserve lands. These lands have never been transferred to the Province, nor has the Nation ever received compensation for the use of the road. The FNLC supports the MMFN’s legal right to control the use of and access to its lands and calls upon WFP and the Province to immediately exercise respect and deference to the MMFN’s unextinguished Title, Rights, and jurisdiction over their unceded lands.