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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read