Three Tsawout community members have been served with injunctions from their Chief and council after their protests led to the temporary suspension of logging on band lands – Saturna Island Indian Reserve No. 7.
Tsawout leadership confirm injunctions are in place against three community members and have not been rescinded.
The members are supported by many in their community and a GoFundMe page has raised $18,000 for their legal fees, in just two days. They have consistently stated throughout the stand-off that the logging decision was made without consultation and should have been put to a community referendum. They say familial links to the land and the Tsawout’s strong relationship with it made their protests necessary.
Mavis Underwood, a councillor for the Tsawout First Nation said, “The injunctions are going forward on Monday. Our insurance needs a measure like an injunction. We need to show this to mitigate our liability and loss.”
Three blocks of land had been prepared for logging but due to the community members’ actions, logging halted after about 80 per cent of Block A had been felled. Underwood says that to fulfill the Tsawout’s contract with the logging company, they need to finish this block and remove the felled timber, which is currently still on site.
In a meeting with Underwood, Tuesday, it was understood by the members protesting that logging would cease if they did not reenter the site. They reported that a later council meeting, of which they weren’t a part, recommended the injunctions be rescinded.
However Underwood said of the meeting they attended, “We really felt that we made a motion under duress. We still have a minority forcing us to make decisions without us having the time to go back and consult the community.”
The three protesters and their supporters point out that their actions were prompted by the logging on the island, which they say happened with no community consultation or referendum.
The three community members served with injunctions have declined to comment further, citing legal advice.