An eagle feather was reportedly handed to surveyors working on behalf of Apache Canada to develop the Pacific Trails Pipeline, the first and only notice of trespass under Wet’suwet’en law.
The feather was handed over by Chief Toghestiy of the Unis’tot’en Clan, under their traditional law called Bi Kyi Wa’at’en, or “responsibility of a husband to respectfully use and protect his wife’s territory.”
Toghestiy’s territory, he said in a media release, is located on Clore River, which is a short distance east from Terrace.
“We will be stopping all proposed pipelines,” he said.
The surveyors were apparently stopped at the bridge crossing for the Morice River. After denying the surveyors access, the protesters say they have confiscated the equipment and will not release it until Apache and the Pacific Trails Pipeline company agree to open up “appropriate lines of communication” with their clan and grassroots Wet’suwet’en members — neither group is affiliated with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.
This clan, they say, are dead-set against all pipelines that are proposed or expected to cross their territories — that also includes the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline from Enbridge.
Freda Huson, who is the clan’s spokesperson, said that the Pacific Trails Pipeline has no permission to be on the territory.
“You’ve received your warning. Don’t come back,” she also said through a media release.
Meanwhile Apache’s communications spokesperson confirmed that surveyors were asked to leave traditional territory on Nov. 20.
“We understand that there are some members of the Unis’tot’en who have expressed some concerns and we continue to consult with First Nations along the entire proposed pipeline right-of-way, including the Unis’tot’en,” said Paul Wyke with Apache.
He added, “The proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline project continues to benefit from strong First Nations’ involvement and support.”
Representatives of the Unis’hot’en have in the past handed the trespass feather to Enbridge officials attending a Smithers council meeting in August 2010.