About 15 members of the Adams Lake Band blocked a lane of Pine Street on band land on the north side of the South Thompson River Tuesday morning.- Image credit: Rick Koch/Salmon Arm Observer.

Band issues statement on road block

RCMP relations and internal political issues prompted closure.

Internal political issues and relations with RCMP are two reasons the Adams Lake Indian Band has given for a road block which began Tuesday morning.

The band has issued a statement regarding the ongoing closure of one lane of Pine Street.

“Adams Lake Indian Band is currently dealing with a road block/closure that occurred on Sexqueltquin Bridge in the early hours of April 11,” states the news release. “Organizers wished to voice their concerns regarding RCMP relations and internal political issues within the Adams Lake Indian Band. Road closures are reduced to one lane traffic and will likely continue for a few days. The protest is peaceful and Adams Lake Indian Band is closely monitoring.”

The bridge crosses the South Thompson River from Chase to the Adams Lake community.

Chase RCMP Cpl. Scott Linklater reported that Chase RCMP were called to the bridge about 8 a.m. Tuesday, responding to reports that people were going to block the bridge and had a small fire going.

Upon arrival, a small group of people were gathered midspan. One protester was arrested, but because of an unrelated incident, Linklater said.

“Adams Lake Band members continued their peaceful protest, moving to the north end of the bridge.”

One lane of the street remained blocked but the bridge is completely open, Linklater reported late Tuesday afternoon.

“At this time the northbound lane is blocked but vehicles are being let through in both directions.”

At that time he confirmed the road seemed to have been blocked in connection with continued upheavals within the band.

“I didn’t get the full scope – it seems that there are still some internal band issues going on. I think it stems from that.”

No further information has been forthcoming yet regarding the concerns over RCMP relations.

The band has been struggling with internal governance for several months after three council members were removed from office, reinstated while they appealed the removal process and, in February, removed from office once again when their appeal through the courts was dismissed. A March 6 letter on the band’s website states the three councillors were reinstated again pending another appeal, expected to take place in May. Last year former Chief Robin Billy resigned and current Chief Paul Michel was elected in December.

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