TNRD, First Nations want Tiny House Warriors protest site removed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TNRD, First Nations want Tiny House Warriors protest site removed

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ian Willms/Greenpeace
July 24, 2020 - 7:30 AM

After two years of protests in Blue River, the regional district is turning to the province for help.

The Tiny House Warriors have been set up near Blue River since the summer of 2018, says Thompson Nicola Regional District director Stephen Quinn, who oversees the Blue River area.

“This town, the people in it and the business owners have been subject to harassment,” Quinn says. “Our local campsite has been subject to all kinds of colourful language, racial epitaphs all by using a megaphone or bullhorn, it's kind of disturbing. They were in a local business and accosted a local resident in the business and as a result, all the other customers left. These people, I’m not even sure what they're protesting anymore they just seem to be protesting for the sake of protesting.”

The Tiny House Warriors live in small homes and are protesting the Trans Mountain Pipeline project.

Today, Quinn wrote a letter that he hopes will lead to a meeting with Premier John Horgan. Quinn wants the province to get involved to remove these protestors because the district doesn’t have the jurisdiction to do it themselves due to the location of the camp.

“They’ve got a bunch of what they call tiny houses built on and parked in places along the hydro lines et cetera and we aren’t aware of any services such as water or sewer, and it’s a mess,” Quinn says. “We do not have legislative authority over Crown land, only private property… if we had, it would’ve been solved last year.”

READ MORE: iN VIDEO: Heated confrontation with protestors in Wells Gray Provincial Park caught on video

The district isn’t alone in wanting to remove the protestors. Their site is set up on Simpcw territory, although the Simpcw have shown support for the pipeline. A joint statement by the Simpcw First Nation Chief Shelley Loring and T’Kemlups Te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir shows their opposition to the protest.

“In accordance with our governing processes, Simpcw and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, under the direction of their People, gave their free, prior and informed consent to Trans Mountain to construct and operate the Project within each respective divisional area of responsibility within the overall Secwepemc Nation. This consent was provided under an agreement with Trans Mountain…. By providing opportunities for our People, we will continue to strengthen our economy in a way that still respects and honours the importance of Mother Earth for future generations,” Loring says in the statement.

To read the full statement, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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