‘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

PHOTOS: Secondhand painting and puzzle sale this weekend in Aldergrove

Starting Friday, the community is invited to the arts council to sift through hundreds of donations

Aldergrove bus company lands compressed natural gas buses in Victoria

New buses are hitting the road, lessening the transit fleet’s carbon footprint

One Langley team remains in girls basketball tournament

Only the Langley Lightning survived the quarter finals in their category

TRAFFIC: VIDEO: Truck crash halts Highway 1 traffic in Langley

Left lane blocked after truck crashes into median by 264th Street

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Police renew appeal in help finding missing Maple Ridge woman after vehicle found

Ridge Meadows RCMP released a new photo showing the missing woman walking east on Dewdney Trunk Road

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Most Read