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View Full Version : 'We're not leaving': Tempers flare between First Nation, RCMP amid wildfire evacuation order



RangeBob
07-12-2017, 08:39 PM
Jul 11, 2017
Anaham Reserve, Alexis Creek, British Columbia

A B.C. First Nations chief says emotions ran high between himself and the RCMP when he told officers residents wouldn't be obeying an evacuation order as several wildfires threaten the community.

On Sunday, Chief Joe Alphonse of the Tl'etinqox First Nation community of Anaham Reserve announced that some members of the community would be staying behind, several to fight the fire.

The community, about two hours west of Williams Lake, isn't far from several out-of-control fires in the Hanceville area. The 5,000-hectare Gustafsen fire is also to the southeast.

The First Nation was placed under an evacuation order on Sunday, but Alphonse said he won't be leaving.

"We're going to fight for our place," the chief said. "We'd rather be out there fighting, protecting, than allow somebody else. We appreciate the work [of firefighters] but this is what we want."

As of Tuesday, Alphonse said 300 people a third of the community were still in the area, though he said "more and more" were trickling out every day.

The chief said he had a run-in with the RCMP on Sunday over his decision to stay put.

"I notified them [the officers] that we're not leaving," he told CBC News.

"Community stress levels were really high and RCMP said, for those that don't leave, they will call the Ministry of Children and remove the children."

After that, Alphonse said, tempers flared.

"At that point, I kind of lost it a little bit and said, 'We're not leaving.' If you guys want to set up roadblocks on both ends of our reserve, that's fine, but we'll set up roadblocks right beside yours to stop you guys getting in. They told me our roadblock won't hold them back, but I said, 'It may not hold you back, but once you start dodging bullets, you'll start turning around.'"

Asked to clarify the latter part of his comments, Alphonse said, "Take it however you want, I made a statement and that's that."

However, RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Annie Linteau said late Tuesday in an emailed statement the RCMP don't believe the comment reflects the recent and continued meetings it has had with the chief since those statements were made.

"Our RCMP First Nations policing officers continue to engage with the community and there is an understanding around our concerns for their safety," she said.

When an evacuation order goes into effect, the RCMP mandate is to advise people to move to safety and inform them of the risks they'd take in staying behind.

Adults who are mentally competent are entitled to remain on their property if they wish. However, Mounties could remove minors under the Child, Family and Community Service Act, if they were in danger.

"Children may be removed for their own safety," Linteau said. "It's certainly not where we want to get, and there's a fair amount of discretion, but we do have a responsibility to protect those who are not in a position to make adult decisions."

The E Division officer added there would be little RCMP could do, if residents who ignore evacuation orders were to request help later on.

"At the end of the day, if the situation worsens, the safety of our officers will be paramount and we're not going to put them in a position that will get them hurt."

On Sunday, B.C. Forests Minister John Rustad who is also the member of the legislature for Nechako Lakes said Alphonse's decision to stay put was "troubling."

"I understand why he wants to do it, but this is a serious risk given the challenge of what could happen with rapid moving fires," he wrote on Facebook.

The chief said the community is well-prepared to hold its ground, with enough food and medicine to last a few weeks.

"We're proud people and we want to fight for what we have left," he said. "We may lose everything, but if we do, then at least we know we gave it 110 per cent. There's comfort in that."

hxxp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/refuse-to-leave-evacuation-order-bc-wildfires-1.4200279

soulchaser
07-12-2017, 09:40 PM
Let 'em burn.

JustBen
07-12-2017, 09:50 PM
Maybe he just didn't want the queen's cowboys looting everything while they were gone.

hawk-i
07-12-2017, 10:03 PM
Gotta give him credit for not being one of the sheep.

blacksmithden
07-12-2017, 10:15 PM
Gotta give him credit for not being one of the sheep.

Agreed. After High River, if theres ever an evacuation order given, Ill be making the final decision whether to stay or go...and odds are EXTREMELY high that I'll be staying. By that, I mean whatever it takes....and it'll take a lot to force me out.

Joshua13
07-12-2017, 10:49 PM
Further into the interview he was talking about teaching the young men of their nation that this was the time to be warriors and be men and to fight for something inportant rather then just getting drunk and fighting each other. They have a bunch of heavy equipment and a tanker truck so it sounds like they are somewhat prepared. I'll give props to anyone who stands up to the cops.

Sent from my E6560T using Tapatalk

Sinbad
07-12-2017, 11:09 PM
So they don't trust the cops to not ransack their places.Who can blame them. The police think laws applies to other people not them.

I wouldn't trust them either having first hand experience. 3 years and they still won't release the high river gun grab info.

You know it has to be bad just for the fact they gave the public a big F - - - you we're not going to tell you anything despite petitions and constant request. Sometimes silence speaks volumes.

88 louie
07-13-2017, 12:04 AM
Good on them for standing their ground. They know from past experiences that you cannot trust the government or the police. As stated, adults are entitled to stay on their property.

killer kane
07-13-2017, 07:11 AM
I wonder what the result would be if a "Whitey" was to threaten the yellow legs with "Bullets flying"?

ilikemoose
07-13-2017, 08:26 AM
Mixed feelings here.

The truth is that the local government...and in this case its the Chief are the ones to decide if an evacuation happens, so the Chief is completely right to make this decision.

Also, given the historical context an RCMP representative would have to be a straight up retard to threaten to "scoop" the children and place them in foster care, so them getting told to beat it is completely understandable.

However, I also,feel its relevent to mention that the Anaham reserve is a crime infested hellhole that is home to one of the native gangs that are shooting one another over control of the local drug trade, so I suspect there are some less than noble motives for the refusal to evacuate.

Gunexpert007
07-13-2017, 09:09 AM
After what happened to First Nations children who were taken from their parents , and forced into residential schools ; it is no wonder that the Native community has a deep seated mistrust of the govt. and the RCMP. Some of those children were beaten , and raped at residential schools . Maybe that cop should read a history book before shooting his mouth off about seizing their children .

50 B.M.G.
07-13-2017, 09:25 AM
I wonder what the result would be if a "Whitey" was to threaten the yellow legs with "Bullets flying"?

I think the result would be a completely different outcome.

IJ22
07-13-2017, 10:43 AM
Mixed feelings here.

The truth is that the local government...and in this case its the Chief are the ones to decide if an evacuation happens, so the Chief is completely right to make this decision.

Also, given the historical context an RCMP representative would have to be a straight up retard to threaten to "scoop" the children and place them in foster care, so them getting told to beat it is completely understandable.

However, I also,feel its relevent to mention that the Anaham reserve is a crime infested hellhole that is home to one of the native gangs that are shooting one another over control of the local drug trade, so I suspect there are some less than noble motives for the refusal to evacuate.

I feel the same. On one hand I think a mandatory evacuation order should just be code for "if you stay you're on your own, no help will come". On the other hand I can see how nefarious types, especially organized ones like gangs, could see an evacuated area as a golden opportunity. Tough call.

chuckbuster
07-13-2017, 10:48 AM
I wonder what the result would be if a "Whitey" was to threaten the yellow legs with "Bullets flying"?

I was wondering about that too.

Zinilin
07-13-2017, 10:53 AM
... On the other hand I can see how nefarious types, especially organized ones like gangs, could see an evacuated area as a golden opportunity....

I think the point was that the "nefarious types, especially organized ones like gangs" are some of the people already on the reserve and the "nefarious types, especially organized ones like gangs" don't want to leave because the RCMP has a history of kicking in doors and performing warrent-less searches looking for people that were left behind under mattresses, behind water heaters, in dresser drawers, jewelry boxes, locked safes and other places that confused people might hide.

Eel
07-13-2017, 11:10 AM
If they want to stay, by all means let them stay, but take the children out and leave them with friends or family. It's their right to protect their possessions and property. But did I read that correctly that the chief said if the Queens Cavalry go into the reserve they will be shot at? I didn't think that threatening the RC's was something to be allowed. I'm pretty sure if I told an officer that if he came onto my land there would be bullets flying I would have SWAT or whatever equivalent force coming down on me like Rosie O'Donnell on a cheese burger.

ilikemoose
07-13-2017, 03:59 PM
I feel the same. On one hand I think a mandatory evacuation order should just be code for "if you stay you're on your own, no help will come". On the other hand I can see how nefarious types, especially organized ones like gangs, could see an evacuated area as a golden opportunity. Tough call.

I suspect that among those not wanting to leave there are some who dont want to leave a house full of stuff on a reserve full of gang members.

I suspect there are gang members who dont want to leave grow ops and stash houses for the RCMP to search.

And like I said earlier....its the Chiefs call to order an evacuation...he might have a good reason for believeing that his fire department and community can save his community.