Clearwater RCMP has launched an investigation after a group of Indigenous activists says they were subjected to a ‘violent’ attack at their Tiny House Warriors village located on Crown land at Blue River over the weekend.
Tiny House Warrior group leader Kanahus Manuel, who also goes by the name Amanda Soper, said in a statement issued by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs that she feared for her life Sunday night (April 19) when four Caucasian men allegedly breached a barricade making their way through the encampment and desecrating a memorial display for murdered and missing Indigenous women.
Manuel, who describes herself as a land defender, alleged there was an assault and a truck that was stolen from the encampment on unceded Secwepemc territory was rammed into one of the tiny homes, nearly knocking it off its trailer.
Clearwater RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Grant Simpson said the incident was not reported to police until late the following day by Manuel, however, they are investigating the incident as a hate crime, and that RCMP will be looking for suspects.
“We’re still working on it and it’s still fairly fresh. We’re putting extra resources on it to try and get to the bottom of it and, hopefully, we can in a fairly quick manner,” Simpson said Tuesday.
Soper said she believes she was specifically targeted by the driver of the stolen truck and that the attack on the camp was done as retaliation by workers for the Trans Mountain pipeline project, which her group is protesting.
“This is just the type of violence the Trans Mountain pipeline man camps are bringing to our territory. It is disgusting that along with attacking us, they desecrated the memorial to the murdered and missing women,” said Soper in the release.
“This was a vicious hate crime. We demand the government immediately cease work on the Trans Mountain pipeline and investigate this incident and the larger threat that the man camps present to Indigenous women and girls.”
A spokesperson from Trans Mountain said the two individuals shown in photos and video Soper posted to Facebook before the attack aren’t part of the Trans Mountain workforce.