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

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Humboldt memorial hockey tournament will make its return in Nanaimo

Fundraising tournament set for Nanaimo North Town Centre parking lot on May 5

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Anti-immigration party is on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

Clippers optimistic as they put finishing touches on cup-hosting bid

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club hopes to host RBC Cup nationals in 2020-21

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Most Read