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Wet’suwet’en Elected Chiefs reiterate call for Minister Bennett to resign, call signing ‘non- consensual’ and a ‘travesty to their people’

The Wet’suwet’en Elected Chiefs are reiterating their call for Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett and are calling the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed yesterday non-consensual and a travesty to their people.

According to a statement released Thursday, the Elected Chiefs are also calling on Federal Minister of Indigenous Services regarding his intention to protect the programs and services the Wet’suwet’en people depend on.

“We are utterly disgusted that although others were invited to witness the signing today by remote technology, no such invitation was extended to the Elected Chiefs and Councils,” the Chiefs said.

“We must express our complete lack of confidence in all parties in this fast-tracked negotiation process. They have no mandate from the people and the simple logistics of trying to carry out complex negotiations during a pandemic are formidable,” they said.

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According to the statement, the Elected Chiefs only received a copy of the MOU one week ago after numerous requests.

They also said the Hereditary Chiefs, provincial and federal governments have ignored their concerns and challenges regarding the MOU and the process at hand.

“We absolutely reject the characterization that this is nothing more than a framework for a path forward. The MOU sets up a reckless negotiation process with predetermined outcomes that will not respect the interests of all Wet’suwet’en people,” the statement said.

The Elected Chiefs have also expressed a lack of confidence in the Hereditary Chiefs and are asking for them to suspend negotiation of the backroom treaty and work together with all members and Elected Chiefs and Councils to develop a proper process.

The Elected Chiefs also expressed their disapproval of the MOU consultation process earlier this week calling it flawed and incomplete.

The tentative MOU was announced after three days of talks in Smithers earlier this year.

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