Hereditary Chiefs speaking at the Gidimt’en access checkpoint on December 18, 2018 | Photo by Sawyer Bogdan
Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en traveled to Morice River roadblock to reiterate support for Unist’ot’en after Coastal GasLink’s injunction went through.
After a judged on Friday approved a temporary injunction to let Coastal GasLink through the Unist’ot’en roadblock at the Morice River Bridge, other Wet’suwet’en clans stepped in to support.
The roadblock was moved onto Gidimt’en clan territory, 44 km before the Unist’ot’en camp.
In a press release, Coastal GasLink said accessing the bridge is necessary to begin work on the pipeline south of the Unist’ot’en camp.
Chief Na’mocks Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en said the Hereditary Chiefs have never signed a paper or had a conversation about giving up authority over their land.
“How can there be reconciliation when they don’t even acknowledge who we are. We are the rights and title holders, we are the highest ranking Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation,” said Na’mocks.
The issue LNG and Wet’suwet’en face is the chiefs of six of the seven bands within the Wet’suwet’en territory signed onto the pipeline. However, they do not have the jurisdiction to speak on behalf of the nation.
Hereditary Chief Kloum Khun said those that signed on are doing so for personal gain and are being paid to show support.
He said they had many open forums as part of their government system and the response from the community during these feasts has been in support of stopping the pipeline.
“The situation we have is not an Unist’ot’en problem; it’s a Wet’suwet’en and government problem. They are trying to reduce it down to try and move the pipeline forward, and as far as we are concerned that’s not going to happen,” said Kloum Khun.
Coastal GasLink said they attempted to cross the access checkpoint to the Morice River Bridge but were unable to pass.
“The company will now take time to evaluate the appropriate steps necessary to ensure access is achieved in a safe manner for all those involved,” said Coastal GasLink.
-With files from Sawyer Bogdan, My Bulkley Lakes Now