Chief Na’moks, a spokesman for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (The Canadian Press)

Mohawks propose temporary Indigenous police for Wet’suwet’en territory

The RCMP has already committed to ending patrols along a critical roadway

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake in Quebec proposed Friday that its Peacekeepers head up a temporary Indigenous police force to patrol the Wet’suwet’en territory and allow the RCMP to withdraw entirely from the area.

Grand Chief Joseph Norton said his community’s chief Peacekeeper has offered to work with other Indigenous police chiefs to gather the officers required.

Nathan Cullen, a former NDP MP who is acting as a liaison between the governments and the chiefs, said he wasn’t aware of the offer from the Mohawk council and it isn’t a part of the discussions at the meeting between the hereditary chiefs and ministers.

“New ideas or new offers, they’re coming in from everywhere,” he said. “That’s helpful to an extent but it’s going to be the people around that table who are going to make the solutions happen.”

The RCMP has already committed to ending patrols along a critical roadway in Wet’suwet’en territory while the negotiations unfold, while Coastal GasLink has consented to a two-day pause in its activities in northwestern B.C.

The dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline project began months ago, but tensions began to rise on Dec. 31 when the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an injunction calling for the removal of any obstructions from roads, bridges or work sites it has been authorized to use in Wet’suwet’en territory.

The RCMP moved in to enforce that injunction on Feb. 6. Hours later, protesters started holding up railway traffic outside of Belleville, Ont., in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, thwarting freight and passenger rail travel.

During question period Friday, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said the economic repercussions of the suspended rail service and shipments have amounted to a “war on working people” and demanded to know how government would fight back.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau told a Commons committee on Thursday that Ottawa is trying to analyze the economic impacts to the economy of the disruptions, but said it is a complex calculation that could take up to six months to fully determine.

Garneau said the financial implications will likely be higher than most Canadians might think, as a total of $300 billion worth of goods moves by train every year in the country.

“What’s important here to realize is, even if we start tomorrow and we had all the barricades down, it takes weeks, perhaps months to get back up to speed.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenousPipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanderhoof has access to a water aerodrome again

Municipal council decomissioned the aerodrome last year citing liability concerns

Facebook Group created by Vanderhoof resident aims to battle individual needs during COVID-19

A new Facebook group started by a Vanderhoof resident has recently gained… Continue reading

Here’s what’s open in Vanderhoof

Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce is requesting the community to support local businesses… Continue reading

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read