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‎”We want to let them know that they are completely safe in our community. It is really offensive to have to go over to convey this to the Joint Review Panel. We are a peaceful people.”
-Heiltsuk First Nation Chief Marilynn Slett

“I am a bit shocked and surprised that the panel might pull out of the community because they felt threatened somewhere along the line. I couldn’t see where….It is insulting to the Heiltsuk community and those that were there that they would feel that way. The members of the joint review panel have been welcomed in respectful ways to every First Nations community that they have gone to and this would be no different.”
-NDP MLA Gary Coons

“I guess they didn’t feel safe, but I was there and I didn’t see anything that even remotely endangered them. … It was a strong presence. The whole community came out, there was drumming and some chanting, but it was all quite peaceful and respectful. I felt proud to be standing with this community. I was proud of what I saw, but I’m disappointed that it was so dramatically misinterpreted.”
-Rachel Horst, Bella Bella school teacher

“The RCMP was in attendance, I’ve spoken to the detachment commander. They are baffled at this reaction. They didn’t observe anything unlawful or remotely threatening.”
-Damien Gillis, film maker and journalist at thecanadian.org

“From what I understand it was a peaceful demonstration – there were religious regalia being worn by band members and there was drumming, and singing as well, at the airport.”
-North District RCMP spokeswoman Const. Lesley Smith

“I got off the plane with the panel members and I was with them until they drove away in the van. At no point was there anything aggressive or threatening about the situation. Shock and disappointment are not strong enough words to describe how the community felt upon hearing the news. Not only was the announcement extremely insulting but months and months of work were put into getting ready for this event.”
-Keri Coles, photographer

“A boisterous but friendly crowd of about 200 people met them at the airport, including all the Chiefs in full regalia, and from there the panelists were escorted to town in an RCMP convoy. …this was a totally peaceful, cheerful crowd with lots of banners, colour and kids running all around. The JRP also insultingly refused an invite to the huge community feast that had been prepared for the event.”
-Ingmar Lee, wildlife researcher

“It’s almost unexplainable, at this point. It was absolutely a peaceful protest…It’s extremely insulting. People came down by boat all the way from Hartley Bay, Bella Coola, people flew in from the north, from the south, a lot of dignitaries and chiefs. People have been preparing for this for months. So for this panel to come here in really what seems like a calculated move…if it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.”
-Ian McAllister, conservation director at Pacific Wild

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By: Occupy Vancouver

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