‘We’ll never put a price tag on our land’: Wet’suwet’en say RCMP enforcement of CGL injunction imminent

Talks between the hereditary chiefs and the Province ended on Feb. 4

Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en say they expect the enforcement of a Dec. 31, 2019 B.C. Supreme Court injunction related to their dispute with Coastal GasLink (CGL) is imminent.

Meeting with supporters and members of the media at an encampment just past the 39 kilometre mark of the Morice West Forest Service Road on Feb. 5, hereditary chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale) said it was unfortunate that talks between the hereditary chiefs and the Province came to an end.

“There was a message sent to the government and [CGL] stated because there was no progress on the discussion that … B.C. walk away,” said Na’Moks.

He said the decision was made when it became clear the chiefs would remain steadfast in their opposition to CGL development on their unceded territory.

“It’s because we will not grant access,” he said. “They wanted access to the land and we said you’re not getting access, you’ll never get approval, not from the hereditary chiefs and not from our people.”

READ MORE: Bachrach calls on Trudeau to meet with hereditary chiefs in CGL dispute

On Feb. 5 the RCMP asked supporters to vacate the area, seemingly in anticipation of enforcing the injunction.

The RCMP have said if supporters do not leave they will be arrested but added if arrests are made there are “peaceful options that will require a minimal use of force.”

Despite these calls, there was an air of positivity at encampments located near the 27 and 39-kilometre points of the road as supporters shared laughs, stories and conversation throughout the day.

Speaking to a number of supporters sipping coffee and tea around a campfire Na’Moks said it was ironic that they were still so embroiled in an issue of rights and title with a province that his flaunted itself as the first place in Canada to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into law.

“The Premier of this province said that this project was pre-UNDRIP and yet they tout themselves as standing up for Indigenous rights, for human rights?” said Na’Moks.

He said while the injunction comes from a Canadian court, it does not supercede Wet’suwet’en law.

“The law that they follow with this injunction is an introduced law,” said Na’Moks. “Our law is thousands of years old, it is strong, it will remain and it will always be there.”

Na’Moks also expressed disappointment in Justin Trudeau for not agreeing to meet with the chiefs.

“When they say that they’re going to have the best relationship with Indigenous people and then they ignore the Indigenous people, that is not fair, that is not proper and it most certainly is not respectful.”

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have maintained their opposition to the project is rooted in a deep respect for the land they call home and a fear the CGL development could have irreversible impacts on what Na’Moks called one of the few places left in the world that is an example of pristine, untouched wilderness.

“We’ll never put a price tag on our land, our air, our water, our rights and title nor our future generations,” he said.

“There are places on this planet that should not be touched, and this is one of them.”



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

The encampment located just beyond the 39 kilometre mark of the Morice West Forest Service Road. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Just Posted

Illegal fishing, snowmobiling caught in Caribou-protected areas of northern B.C.

Closures are to support the recovery of caribou herds: BC Conservation Officer Service

Bailey’s celebrating 100 years of farming in B.C.

Vanderhoof farm received the Century Farm Award awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Alice in Wonderland Jr. coming to Vanderhoof this March

W.L. McLeod Elementary presents its 12th production

Mainly sunny Saturday, but cloudy weather in the forecast

Environment Canada weather report for the week of Feb. 24

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

Seven arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

UPDATE: Two killed in fiery collision on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The Trans Canada Highway was closed for four hours

Most Read