Report from the front lines of the blockade

  • Mar. 22, 2005 6:00 a.m.

By Jana McLeod- Rumours had been surfacing about some sort of protest and on Monday, when Arnie, vice president of the Council of the Haida Nation, told me that it was true and where it all was taking place I thought I could check it out. The bulletin said all were welcome so off I went. As I made the trip up the logging road I could help but feel a little heartsick. Each turnoff and what it represented hurt, I thought, is it too late? I gazed around at the remaining trees, and pondered, together we have to try.
I get to where the camp is just being put together, almost under a bridge. Pulling in beside another vehicle I notice a few people making shelters. Still very mindful that I am not Haida but just a supporter I gingerly come up to the workers. I am familiar with most of the people, gulping down my nervousness I try to mingle. It isn’t too hard with the easygoing crew. The joking and generally friendly group just sort of takes my presence in stride, as if I had every right to be there and gosh darn if I didn’t feel that way as well.
The surroundings are idyllic and magnificent, as if made for this moment in time. History is actually being created at this very instance. I try to savour it all for myself, this heavenly environment, only without the scars of abuse and greed still so apparent.
Building the shelters and cutting the firewood I can’t help but notice the obvious reverence that just seems to come naturally, as if inherent in the souls of the men. Perhaps it does through their elders, the way the wind’s direction is read so effortlessly and only the fallen trees are used.
Another supporter comes carrying a placard stating “millions stolen!” A chief from Old Massett appears, and many more will come because it’s imperative to our futures. CHN has had all it’s going to take and the time to send that message the world over. Good luck and see you there. You can drop off food donations at Port Clements and Rachel’s in Old Massett. See you there.