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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

The pandemic is far from over, says Kimberley Mayor

Be vigilant about hygiene, social distancing and masks, he says

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read