Fate of sacred fire concerns warrior chief
Cape Breton chief remains at Trans-Canada protest site
Mi'kmaq Warrior Chief Peter Bernard says he won't leave P.E.I. until he's convinced Island police are showing due respect to Mi'kmaq traditions.
Bernard arrived at the protest site Wednesday from Cape Breton, along with several other members of his warrior group. He came to investigate what happened when RCMP cleared out a protester camp at the Trans-Canada construction site in New Haven last Friday while a sacred fire was burning.
Police said they didn't touch the sacred fire, and that officers were under orders to leave it alone. But Bernard isn't satisfied with that explanation.
"I'm trying to find out as much as I can about that," he said.
"Desecration is a big word, and it's very hard to see what happened to this. I'd like to make sure it don't happen again."
Bernard said he wants to speak with Keptin John Joe Sark of the Mi'kmaq council, who lit the sacred fire. He says members of his group will demonstrate peacefully until they get their answers.
Mi'kmaq not united in protest
The Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. has given its stamp of approval to the project. In discussion with provincial officials Wednesday, a warrior society member brought into question whether that approval is appropriate.
"A lot of the people that are in those seats do not understand the importance," said Virginia Marshall.
"They've been approving everything here and not really doing the research."
The Mi'kmaq Confederacy disputes the warrior's claim.
"We were consulted. We undertook our due diligence based on research. The research has not revealed that the proposed construction would impact on the traditional land and resources uses or rights by the Mi`kmaq in that area."