Canada Blockades remain in place as Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

18:45  23 february  2020
18:45  23 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

B.C. RCMP open door to leaving Wet’suwet’en territory in effort to end rail blockades

  B.C. RCMP open door to leaving Wet’suwet’en territory in effort to end rail blockades B.C. RCMP open door to leaving Wet’suwet’en territory in effort to end rail blockadesIn an internal letter to RCMP members obtained by Global News, Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan says she sent a letter to the chiefs Wednesday telling them the need for a small detachment near Houston, B.C., would be "decreased" if the chiefs and their supporters continue to grant access to Coastal GasLink workers.

This is not just the Wet ' suwet ' en ," said hereditary chief Na'moks, citing a recent written directive from a United Nations committee working to end racism. After a B . C . judge issued an interlocutory injunction last week saying pipeline opponents could not block Coastal GasLink from accessing the area

Wet ' suwet ' en hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project that would carry natural gas to the B . C . coast, though others in the community support the pipeline. Countrywide protests and blockades followed a move by RCMP to enforce a court injunction this month against the hereditary chiefs and

a sign on the side of a snow covered road © Provided by The Canadian Press

Hereditary chiefs from Wet'suwet'en First Nation were expected to return to British Columbia Sunday after visiting Mohawk communities in eastern Canada, with no signs that blockades crippling the country's rail network will come down.

The actions are in solidarity with hereditary chiefs contesting a British Columbia natural gas pipeline and after two weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that while his government is ready to talk, the blockades must come down.

The traditional chiefs visited supporters in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Kahnawake, south of Montreal, this week, saying their conditions for talks remain the same.

Canadian Press NewsAlert: Blair says RCMP have met Wet'suwet'en conditions

  Canadian Press NewsAlert: Blair says RCMP have met Wet'suwet'en conditions OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the RCMP in British Columbia have met conditions set by traditional leaders of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation opposing a pipeline project on their territory. He says he believes barricades set up in solidarity with that nation should come down. The Wet'suwet'en's hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project that would bring natural gas to a liquefaction facility and export terminal on the B.C. coast.

Hereditary chiefs of the Wet ’ suwet ’ en Nation meeting on Saturday with Mohawk leaders in Kahnawake confirmed they’ve spoken with British Columbia’s commanding RCMP officer about police withdrawing from a protest site against a proposed gas pipeline.

The hereditary Wet ’ suwet ’ en leaders say they’ re willing to talk with representatives of the Crown, but only after the RCMP and Coastal GasLink workers have left their traditional lands. On Thursday, the RCMP in B . C . sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet ’ suwet ’ en Nation, telling them the force

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C. and federal government once the RCMP and Coastal GasLink leave their traditional territory and cease work on the natural gas pipeline project.

"We want to stay consistent on our answers," Woos told reporters. "We're waiting for the RCMP to vacate the premises."

Woos, of Grizzly House, told reporters in Kahnawake on Saturday that attempts to reach out to Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller have not been returned since Trudeau's call.

"It seems to me like ever since Mr. Trudeau has made his announcement, the communication has ceased," Woos told reporters on Saturday.

The blockades, particularly one on a critical east-west rail line near Belleville, Ont., are in support of those hereditary chiefs who oppose the project, despite support from elected band councils along the pipeline route in B.C.

Meanwhile, Via Rail service has said it is set to resume certain routes, including its Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa route on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Okanagan Indian Band sends letter to PM in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs .
The OKIB says the pipeline dispute highlights issues surrounding reconciliation and the rights of Indigenous peoples. "Canada’s history is replete with instances of First Nations people forcibly removed from their land. Whether by government policy or police action, the result is the same -- economies and cultures are destroyed, ecosystems ravaged and rights unjustifiably extinguished in the name of 'Public Interest'," the letter read.

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