B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett speak briefly to the press following Thursday’s discussions with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Quinn Bender photo)

Wet’suwet’en herreditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Initial talks between the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and ministers from the provincial and federal governments have wrapped up for the day with plans to continue tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters outside the Office of the Wet’suwet’en just before 6 p.m., Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser said the mood in the room was positive and they’re optimistic about heading into Friday’s discussions.

Neither minister would comment on the groundwork laid today with the hereditary chiefs.

“It’s not appropriate to talk about,” Fraser said. “We don’t want to jeopardize anything. We had a productive day today and hopefully a very solid day tomorrow.”

Hereditary chief Na’moks, who’s taken on the role of spokesperson for the chiefs, did not comment to the press.

READ MORE: Wet’suweten hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks

The meeting comes amid continuing protests and road and rail blockades across the country, including at the B.C. Legislature this week. The protests have been ongoing since early February in opposition to the Coastal GasLink (CGL), a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline being built through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

Na’moks said earlier today it’s still premature to speculate when the blockades will end.

“Most of them [supporters] are awaiting us to request it. If they see progress then things will quickly deescalate. We just ask that things remain peaceful.”

READ MORE: Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Earlier today the RCMP announced they will cease patrols of the Morice West Service Road during the talks. CGL also announced a two-day pause on pre-construction of the pipeline in the Morice River area. These two conditions were critical for the hereditary chiefs to begin talks with the provincial and federal governments.

More to come.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Canfor closes Houston and Plateau mills temporarily

Three-week closure in response to COVID-19 crisis

Coastal GasLink will consult with health authorities before construction recommences

The company continues to perform environmental monitoring, pipe delivery and stockpile

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read