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PSAC joins others in condemnation of death threat directed at First Nations chief

April 1, 2022   Don Horne

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) has joined others in condemning the person who left a threatening voicemail directed at Chief Judy Desjarlais and other members of the Blueberry River First Nations.

“On March 21, 2022, Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) Chief Judy Dejarlais and the BRFN communnity were the target of a hateful and threatening voice mail message. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada condemns in the strongest manner any and all such threats of violence,” reads a statement from the PSAC. “PSAC and its member companies enjoy a strong working relationship with our First Nations partners across Canada, and we were disgusted to learn of this hateful and cowardly act of verbal aggression.”

The Chief is still rattled days after receiving the death threat because of changes proposed to moose and caribou hunting rules in B.C.’s northeastern region.

“His message was straight anger,” she said on the weekend after receiving the message Thursday. “It scared me a bit, I understand there is a lot of anger.”

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She believes the message was left in reaction to proposed interim changes by the province to close caribou hunting in B.C.’s Peace region and reduce moose hunting by half for two years. It’s part of a greater plan to maintain the health of the herds and also uphold treaty rights involved in a landmark 2021 court decision.

“Nobody ever expects to get these calls but it’s something out of anger and not being educated in the right manner,” said Desjarlais.

PSAC went on to say that it “joins with its members, our industry, and our country as a whole, in support of the Chief and BRFN community, and the condemnation of the perpetrator of this hateful threat.”

There is significant opposition to the proposed hunting regulations in the Peace, but the offensive voicemail, which was shared with CBC News, has brought condemnation from Desjarlais, the province’s forests minister, minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation and local politicians.

(with files from CBC)


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