In an early morning protest, a group of Cowichan Tribes members raise concerns with Coun. Stephanie Charlie, right. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Protesters get the ear of Cowichan Tribes with attempted blockade

They didn’t close anything down but they did get to talk for an hour about their concerns

A group of disgruntled First Nations people attempted a blockade of Cowichan Tribes administration centre on Thursday, Oct. 4.

The couple of dozen protesters didn’t succeed in blocking entry to the offices, but were able to get a Cowichan Tribes councillor to listen for an hour to their concerns about housing, apprehension of children, employment of too many non-Native people in Cowichan Tribes administration and more.

The protest was organized by elder Sam Wilson, who was among those in attendance

Councillor Stephanie Charlie said, “I’ll bring your message back and share these items.”

“We need reform of rental housing,” said protester Sharon Lewis. “It affects younger people than myself. We’re overlooked. It needs to be updated every year.”

Lewis and several others were concerned about education and employment opportunities.

“There are too many non-Native, non-Cowichan people employed here,” she said.

Charlie told her that Cowichan Tribes needs to hire the people best qualified for the job but that comment didn’t go down well with the protesters.

Replies like “What about all the Cowichan members that were turned down? I tried to further my education and I had to go to government just to get my education. You say we need to go and get education. I’ve been denied by my own Cowichan Tribes,” showed that this is a discussion that has been going on for some time.

Lewis brought up another topic.

“Cowichan Tribes members are homeless. I’m homeless. I’ve been evicted out of my place. You’re ignoring me. This is all our land. If we’re self government how come everybody ignores me here?”

Charlie said, “We do have our policies. I can’t answer for departments. We do have your list. Everything is on here.”

She promised that more opportunities for those with issues will be set up in the future, so Tribes can hear and deal with their concerns.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bluegrass Festival in Cowichan offering savings for early birds

The annual Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from June 19 to 21

Drivesmart column: Let’s block the road

Police resources to cope with the size of the protest group is an important consideration.

Coming up in Cowichan: Meet the Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warrior Run stops at Legion The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat District… Continue reading

Cowichan climber off to Olympic qualifier

Brennan Doyle competing for Pan Am Championship

Robert Barron column: Let’s see more roundabouts in the Cowichan Valley

I commend the city planners for their wisdom in installing a roundabout there.

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read