The information checkpoint has been in place for months and staff there have been subject to threats (RCMP photo)

Threats, racism being directed at COVID-19 checkpoint staff: Remote B.C. First Nation

The staff at the checkpoint have been subject to threatening behaviour on multiple occasions

Staff at the Nuxalk Nation’s emergency operations information checkpoint on Highway 20 have been subject to threats and aggressive behaviour on multiple occasions, said centre director Jessica Miller. The Nuxalk are located near Bella Coola on B.C.’s central coast and have been urging people to stay away in fear of COVID-19 spreading to their community.

Miller said there have been at least two serious incidents where staff felt they were directly threatened, including one incident where a traveler said he had COVID-19 and threatened to spit on them.

“Just under a week ago our staff encountered a traveler that refused to cooperate with the information requested and said he would spread COVID by spitting on them,” said Miller. “They’ve also experienced underlying racism and aggressive behaviour.”

The emergency operations centre also reported that another traveler refused to slow down or stop and instead accelerated towards checkpoint staff before slamming on the brakes.

“Our staff member was almost hit by this person and this is not the first time there has been an encounter like this with this individual,” Miller said. “It is understandably extremely upsetting for our staff members, our team and leadership, and we are all very shaken up by the incident.”

The information checkpoint has been in place since March 25 and was recently moved from the bottom of the hill to Kettle Pond on Highway 20.

Miller said while the majority of people who pass through the checkpoint are respectful, incidents like these are disturbing and are being taken seriously. Miller says both incidents are being reported to the RCMP.

READ MORE: Remote First Nation on B.C.’s central coast asking non-essential travellers to stay away

More to come.

CoronavirusIndigenousracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay pandemic project gets 300 submissions

Gage Gallery exhibit shows how people cope during crisis

Peninsula food bank receives $1,000 donation from local retailer

House of Lily Koi raised the money through the annual food bank fundraiser

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read