Unist’ot’en camp aims to stop LNG work

At an all clans meeting, Wet’suwet’en clans voted to not accept any pipelines through Wet’suwet’en lands including LNG

  • Jul. 15, 2015 8:00 a.m.

by Flavio Nienow

Black Press

At an all clans meeting, Wet’suwet’en clans voted to not accept any pipelines through Wet’suwet’en lands, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline projects.

In December 2014, Wet’suwet’en First Nation (WFN) signed an agreement with the province for the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline project. Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines Limited, proposes to develop a natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek, to the proposed LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export facility near Kitimat.

One day after the all clans meeting, LNG Canada received an environmental assessment certificate to proceed with construction of their plant near Kitimat.

Hereditary Chief John Ridsdale (Na’Moks), who attended the meeting via teleconference, said the position of the hereditary chiefs hasn’t changed.

“There are elected bands and councils that have supported it [construction of pipelines], but as a nation, as hereditary chiefs and clans and house groups, we never have supported this. It’s a re-affirmation of each of the five clans,” said Ridsdale.

A camp set up by the Unist’ot’en house group is currently trying to block efforts by TransCanada to do work on the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project.

A new You Tube video was recently posted by supporters of the Unist’ot’en camp showing a Unist’ot’en member asking a third party contractor to leave their territory.

“This is technically trespassing,” says the Unist’ot’en member in the video. “We’ve asked nicely and people keep coming; this is very disrespectful.”

“This continues to be our territory,” she continues. “We haven’t lost it to war, so you’re not coming through here; you need consent to be here.”

According to Unist’ot’en members, throughout May and June, TransCanada has made repeated attempts to survey the area.

“The Unist’ot’en, they’re looking after their territory,” said Ridsdale. “And we believe, at this current time, they’re doing the proper thing; they are evicting trespassers, which would be these pipeline companies.”

Despite opposition from Wet’suwet’en clans, Chief Karen Ogen said her government will continue supporting LNG projects.

“We are fully committed to protecting the environment while pursuing economic opportunities that will provide sustainability to our community. We remain opposed to oil and bitumen projects because they could have serious environmental impact on our territories and our traditional hunting grounds,” she said. “By signing agreements in support of LNG projects, we have ensured the inclusion of a clause which states at no time with this pipeline agreement, even if sold to another company, be converted to transporting oil or bitumen.”

“We have signed agreements wiath the province with the explicit understanding that the environmental assessment process has to ensure the best practices in the world. Our community members mandated us to engage with gas pipeline companies and make sure that the highest environmental standards are met. By participating in these projects and engaging with the government and proponents, WFN is able to extend a positive influence on their development,” she said.

“Our door is always open for dialog and discussion with the hereditary chiefs to explain our position. Beyond that, WFN is marching forward so that our people will benefit and their quality of life will finally improve – socially, economically and environmentally,” she added.

 

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read