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

Just Posted

Suspect restrained by bystanders after unprovoked assaults in West Kelowna

A 33-year-old Ontario man faces a number of potential charges

Car crashes into Kelowna business

Damages were done to the storefront of Interstate Batteries All Battery Centre on Banks Road

Keep the ‘Wild’ in Wildlife: RDCO

RDCO reminds park-goers that bears are more prevalent in parks at this time of year

Simplifying business licences in Kelowna

Kelowna city councillors are looking at modernizing 20-year-old bylaw

On-foot brewery tours in Kelowna give ‘beer runs’ a new dimension

Brew Crew Kelowna celebrated its kick-off year in 2019

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Okanagan

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

One sent to hospital following Balmoral Road/Highway 1 collision

Violation ticket issued in second crash at Balmoral intersection in two weeks

Chase RCMP request public’s help to find missing man

Travis Allen Sauls was last seen in Chase on July 14

Cause of North Okanagan house fire still under investigation

Mom rescued sleeping baby from Thursday’s blaze

Most Read