First Nation demands apology from activists over protest at B.C. premier's home
VICTORIA -- A Vancouver Island First Nation is calling out an environmental activist group after its members staged a protest outside the home of B.C. Premier John Horgan.
Leaders of the Beecher Bay First Nation, located near Sooke, are asking for a formal apology from the group Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island.
In a letter signed by Chief Russ Chipps and two band councillors, the Beecher Bay leaders say 12 Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island members entered the band's traditional territory without permission to protest outside Horgan's home on Feb. 18.
Three of the protesters were ultimately arrested for mischief by the RCMP after attempting to prevent Horgan from attending the day's provincial budget announcement at the legislature.
"We find it disturbing that you would ignore our rights and titles over our traditional territory and not follow protocol and ask permission to enter," the band letter says.
"You've come into our territory without permission, putting yourselves above our traditional protocols and have insulted our community and terrorized a private citizen in our neighbouring community."
The band leaders say the protesters' actions require "a traditional apology to our community, chief and council, along with [Premier Horgan's wife] Mrs. Ellie Horgan."
The Beecher Bay First Nation leaders say the letter is not a political statement against the Wet'suwet'en or Tyendinaga nations that are opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline that the 12 protesters were demonstrating against.
Premier Horgan's office tells CTV News the premier is aware of the letter but declined to provide comment Tuesday.
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island organizer Don Goodeve said Wednesday that the group is taking the issues raised by the band chief and council "very seriously" and would provide a public statement later this week.
Chief Chipps declined to be interviewed about the letter, saying he would wait until his fellow councillors were also available to speak.