“This is our sovereign land and we protect it strongly and swiftly.”
April 11, 2021 (Enoch Cree Nation Maskêkosihk, Alberta)
Approximately 150 GraceLife protesters trespassed onto private Enoch property at 10:00 a.m. and parked their vehicles on a private Enoch road, violating Enoch Cree Nation’s sovereignty on its southern border.
Chief Billy Morin and the RCMP promptly responded to the scene, informed the trespassers that they were trespassing on sovereign Enoch Cree Nation land, and asked them to leave immediately. Some trespassers complied, while others continued trespassing for 6 hours.
“Although I respect GraceLife protesters’ right to protest, right to worship, and right to free speech, I strongly condemn their illegal trespassing on our land, their vandalization of a Nation member’s vehicle, and their blatant disrespect of our sovereignty as a proud First Nation.”
“We are a very welcoming and friendly people, but relationships require a foundation of trust and respect that was not shown by the trespassers today. This incident demonstrates the need for more public understanding and recognition of First Nations sovereignty and treaty rights.”
– Chief Billy Morin
After the RCMP’s arrest of one trespasser for allegedly attempting to assault an Enoch Councillor, another trespasser vandalizing Chief Morin’s vehicle, and with many Enoch members arriving to peacefully set up a safe road blockade, the trespassers have mostly vacated by 4:00 p.m. without further incident.
Enoch Cree Nation has now deployed a 24/7 checkpoint on its southern border for the next two weeks to protect Nation members and ensure that Enoch’s sovereignty is defended.
Chief and Council also remind any current and future visitors to Enoch that they must follow Covid-19 public health guidelines, physically distance, and wear a mask when on sovereign Enoch Cree Nation land.
The RCMP would like to advise everyone that property north of Highway 627 in the area of #GraceLifeChurch is Enoch Cree First Nation territory. Parking north of Hwy 627 on Enoch Cree First Nation and parking or stopping on the highway itself is not permitted. #Parkland— RCMP Alberta (@RCMPAlberta) April 11, 2021
Protesters in front of GraceLife Church on April 11, 2021 (CTV News)