Hereditary Chief Ronnie West, centre, from the Lake Babine First Nation, sings and beats a drum during a solidarity march after Indigenous nations and supporters gathered for a meeting to show support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation, in Smithers, B.C., on January 16, 2019. More than 200 Canadian musicians and industry players are standing in solidarity with people from a northern B.C. First Nation as they protest the construction of a natural gas pipeline on traditional territories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Members of B.C. First Nation plan new camp to block natural gas pipeline path

The company says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils

Members of a First Nation in northern British Columbia who oppose a planned pipeline through their traditional territory say they will build a new camp to block its path.

A statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday says the Likhts’amisyu clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is asserting its sovereignty by creating “a new, permanent land reclamation on their territory.”

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink stops work on pipeline over trapline dispute in northern B.C.

It says the camp will be ”strategically located in order to impede the ability of the Coastal GasLink corporation to force their pipeline through Wet’suwet’en land.”

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would transport natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s export terminal on the coast in Kitimat, B.C.

The company says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along its path but the hereditary clan chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation say the project has no authority without their approval.

In January, RCMP enforced an injunction against members of the nation’s Gidim’den clan and supporters who built a blockade along a logging road toward the project’s work site.

The Unist’ot’en camp, led by members of another clan, was conceived as a re-occupation of the land and has been a focal point of resistance against Coastal GasLink and other proposed oil and gas projects for almost 10 years.

“It’s important that people realize this fight is far from over,” the statement says.

“The events of December and January should be regarded as one phase in a struggle that has been going on for a decade. A new phase of struggle will begin in the spring of this year, and it may prove to be the decisive one.”

Coastal GasLink says in an emailed statement that it is aware of social media discussions regarding the construction of new structures in areas near the company’s right of way.

Preliminary construction activities are underway and the project has permits and authorizations from British Columbia’s environmental assessment office and the BC Oil and Gas Commission, it says.

“We continue to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities to ensure the pipeline is built in an environmentally sustainable manner that ensures First Nation members, businesses and local communities maximize their economic opportunities.”

The Likhts’amisyu clan statement calls for volunteers to help build a cabin, outbuildings and a structure for a kitchen, dining room and bunks from April 28 to May 18.

The camp will be led by warrior chiefs Dsahayl and Smolgelgem, who is also known as Warner Naziel and co-founded the Unist’ot’en camp.

“We will be building permanent buildings on our territory in an effort to assert our pre-colonial rights and jurisdiction on our lands,” the chiefs say in a statement.

The project’s website also says they are embarking on “a path of litigation (that) will hold all colonial antagonizers accountable for their actions against our people.”

The Canadian Press

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

Just Posted

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Surrey student selected as Loran Award recipient

Award is valued at $100K over four years of undergraduate studies

Free pads, tampons now available in Surrey school washrooms

Menstrual products previously given out to students upon request

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

UPDATE: TransLink gets injunction ahead of pipeline, Indigenous rights protest

The protest rally is in opposition to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline projects

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

Most Read