Statement from ƛiišin (Derek Peters) and Shannon Janzen, as Board Members on behalf of TFL 44 LP, regarding the Investigation of the Incident on TFL 44.
May 13, 2021 – Port Alberni, British Columbia – On May 5, TFL 44 Limited Partnership (TFL 44 LP) publicly released a statement and 7-point plan of action (7 Point Plan) in response to the incident that occurred on May 4 between forestry workers and protesters on TFL 44. In accordance with Point 2 of the 7 Point Plan, Island Forest Company (IFC) conducted an investigation of the incident. That investigation is the responsibility of IFC as the prime contractor, who is responsible for the employees involved in the incident.
It is our understanding that IFC has completed its final investigation. TFL 44 LP has requested that IFC be transparent in relation to their investigation.
As operations have been paused since the May 4 incident, there is a need to resume work in a safe and respectful manner.
Given the gravity of the incident and confirmed reports of other serious incidents in TFL 44 and the surrounding area where the actions of some protesters have put the safety of themselves and forest workers at risk, TFL 44 LP has taken the following additional steps in support of its 7 Point Plan:
- Forwarded a request from the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Huu-ay-aht) to IFC to issue a public apology in accordance with Huu-ay-aht Traditional laws, noting that a similar request will be made of protesters confirmed to have disrupted safe forestry operations;
- IFC has made a proposal to establish indigenous liaison positions to support their operations. In connection with this proposal, TFL 44 LP has stated its expectations that any such positions include prior approval of TFL 44 LP management and the Hereditary and Elected Leadership of the First Nation(s) in whose Territory IFC’s crew is operating. This would be part of the terms of reference for such a role and the appointments for these roles; and
- Requested full cooperation of IFC in the implementation of the remainder of the 7 Point Plan, as applicable.
TFL 44 LP will also seek to clarify the role of the Provincial government in upholding cutting authorities that are duly authorized, including through appropriate consultation processes.
We reiterate the critical importance of maintaining ongoing safe forestry operations, while at the same time ensuring individuals are able to exercise their right to peaceful and legal protest – all in accordance with Huu-ay-aht’s three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is Connected).
Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Head Hereditary Chief Derek Peters), Huu-ay-aht First Nations and TFL 44 LP Board Director, and Shannon Janzen, Chair TFL 44 LP Board