Coleen Pierre and Eileen Kenworth tried two years ago to make Katzie First Nation safer. (Phil Melnychuk/The News)

Coleen Pierre and Eileen Kenworth tried two years ago to make Katzie First Nation safer. (Phil Melnychuk/The News)

Making Katzie Pitt Meadows reserve safer, slowly

Katzie and South Bonson members joined to get boat removed

The pressure play at the Katzie First Nation reserve is paying off, a little bit, after barely two weeks.

Katzie members get together several nights a week to go on walk-abouts for safety patrols to keep an eye on things and to convince the non-Katzie residents on the Pitt Meadows reserve that there are better places they could be.

The intent is to move along the undesirables so that the people who are supposed to live there can do so without having to cope with the crime, drugs and intimidation that outsiders, and some band members, as well, bring.

“It’s been pretty quiet the last few days,” said Coleen Pierre. “I get to sleep at a decent hour.”

Up to 20 people are causing the problems, both non-aboriginal and band members, Pierre said earlier.

In addition to visiting homes and making it known that some people are not wanted, the group is now going to visit half a dozen campers who’ve set up tents near the landfill on the north side of the reserve.

“We’re going to keep doing it,” said Pierre.

Two recent results were the speedy disassembling of the floating contraption that had been moored just off the Katzie dock in the Fraser River.

Last week, Katzie and South Bonson residents both pressured numerous authorities to remove the dock and within days it was hauled away.

One person who’s been evicted isn’t happy about it. He’s a band member and says he was told to leave with no clear reason why.

“Lynch mob going to homeowners’ properties and chasing their family and friends out, even if they own their house and land it sits on,” he said.

“I’m a member and they kicked me off for no clear reason. So now I have nowhere to call home.”

Pierre, though, said an elder didn’t feel comfortable with the man camping in his back yard, so he was asked to leave.

“We took a stand on behalf of the owner,” she said.

“So it was his own fault because of the lifestyle he leads, right.”

A file has been created on that individual. But details are short on exactly what the man was doing.

She told other elders that once they let it be known that they don’t want someone around, the group will go into action. At least three people have been told they’re not wanted on the reserve and that they are banned from being there.

Pierre said she’s talked with South Bonson residents, warning that more evictions from the reserve could see people filtering into their neighbourhoods.

Robert Thomas Rock said on social media that he understands that the Katzie want a safe community.

“But I wish that the larger communities also had that right to tell undesirebles to pack up and leave.” However most comments favoured the action being taken.

The band council is also considering installing gates at the entrances to control the vehicles entering the reserve.