Protesters at Fairy Creek say they will stand their work isn’t done despite a declaration ordering a two-year deferral of old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. (Zoe Ducklow/Black Press Media)

Protesters at Fairy Creek say they will stand their work isn’t done despite a declaration ordering a two-year deferral of old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. (Zoe Ducklow/Black Press Media)

Vancouver Island First Nations declaration not enough for old-growth protesters

‘At the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground’

Although three southwestern Vancouver Island First Nations called for a halt to both old-growth logging and related protests on their territory in a declaration made over the weekend, activists say they will stand their ground at the Fairy Creek watershed.

The Rainforest Flying Squad called the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration by the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations “a welcome step in the right direction,” but don’t believe it goes far enough.

The declaration called for a two-year deferral of all old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the First Nations, including Tree Farm Licence 46, on which the disputed Fairy Creek watershed sits. The provincial government and Teal Jones, which owns the logging rights for TFL 46, agreed to abide by the declaration.

READ MORE: First Nations tell B.C. to pause old growth logging on southwest Vancouver Island

The RFS and Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones said they are awaiting more details about the declaration and “remain concerned that the declaration allows for the status quo of old-growth logging to continue unabated across the territory.”

“No, we must not stand down, as all First Nations are locked into unfair contracts that tie their hands,” Elder Bill Jones stated.

In addition to calling for the end to old-growth logging on their territories, the three First Nations governments also said that no third parties have the right to speak on their behalf.

“Moreover, for third parties to be welcome in their ḥahahuułi [traditional territories], they must respect their governance and stewardship, sacred principles, and right to economically benefit from the resources within the ḥahahuułi,” read a statement on the Huu-ay-aht First Nations official website.

The RFS is demanding the protection of the entire Fairy Creek watershed, and not only the old growth that the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration addresses.

“Any deferral on Fairy Creek MUST include the entire 2,080 hectare Fairy Creek Rainforest, not just the old growth within the watershed,” the group said. “This would include protecting the hundreds of hectares of at-risk old-growth adjacent to the Fairy Creek watershed in both Granite Creek and in the area known as the ‘2000 Road.’ We hope that the final agreement between the Pacheedaht and provincial government will reflect this. Likewise we are calling for deferral of logging across the entire special management zone in the Central Walbran.”

The three First Nations will still permit second- and third-growth logging in a number of areas within their traditional territories, and the RFS is concerned about those areas as well as another 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth identified by the Sierra Club of BC.

“The province must come to the table with conservation financing and economic alternatives for First Nations, and create a just transition to a second growth industry,” the RFS statement said. “Until these things happen, at the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground to defend our last ancient forests.

READ MORE: Solidarity builds for Indigenous claims over Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island

READ MORE: 300 protesters hike in to Vancouver Island old-growth logging camps

Fairy Creek watershedforestryIndigenousprotest

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

A butterfly takes a rest on some flowers in a hanging basket in one of three entries in the 2021 Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show by “flowers flowers flowers” category winner Tammy S. (Tammy S./Facebook photo)
18 winners named in North Delta virtual garden show

2021 Sunshine Hills Community Group Virtual Garden Show ran May 28 to June 4

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of June 7

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Earl Marriott Mariners football coach Michael Mackay-Dunn (centre, wearing white hat) is retiring from teaching and coaching. (EMS Football photo)
Longtime Earl Marriott Secondary teacher, football coach retires

Michael Mackay-Dunn hangs up coaching whistle after 22 years

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Most Read