BC Indian Chiefs condemn RCMP enforcement of TransCanada injunction

Locals protest B.C. RCMP action

Locals protest B.C. RCMP action

"We need clean water, clean air, clean land", he said.

Debbie Pierre, executive director of the Office of Wet'suwet'en said the meeting with RCMP was underway in Smithers and the chiefs would share the outcome with the public Wednesday morning.

Now, "as militarized RCMP are descending onto unceded Wet'suwet'en to enforce a colonial court injunction, rallies in 30 cities expressing solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en will take place on Tuesday", a press statement announced Monday. "I want to say to Prime Minister Trudeau: Welcome to battle ground British Columbia".

If you didn't already know, on Monday RCMP officers pushed through the barricade that was set up by the Wet'suwer'en people in order to protest the pipeline. It's meant to keep workers away from the construction site for TransCanada PipeLine Ltd.'s 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline, in the works since 2012.

Canada "made a commitment to uphold the United Nations declaration" to not forcibly remove people from their land, Roberts said, but is now planning to break that commitment.

"Even though we say no, they're forcing this project on us, and they're using military and police forces on peaceful people".

The RCMP were enforcing a court injunction, granted in December, ordering people to stop preventing TransCanada subsidiary Coastal GasLink from gaining access to the road and a bridge.

"The big thing is we've got to be able to support our communities that said yes to this (project) because it's their community that needs that financial benefit", he said.

Coastal GasLink, operated by TransCanada Corp., said it has negotiated agreements with all of the elected bands along a proposed 670-kilometre route created to bring gas to the B.C. coast for overseas shipping as part of a $40-billion LNG Canada project.

"It's about getting out of poverty and finding a way for our people".

The demonstrations spread across Canada, with protesters also stopping traffic in Vancouver and Victoria and prompting a counter protest in front of the headquarters of the company building the pipeline at the centre of the dispute.

"Real consensus will be built when the parties, with very different views, come together in a meaningful and productive dialogue", his statement goes on. There was also a pro-pipeline protest in Calgary, Alberta.

"To me they're working for the company, they're not keeping no peace".

"What happened and what is circulating on social media is setting the tone for 2019, which could prove to be battleground for issues with regard to native rights issues and resource development", he said.

Shepley said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated in the past that his government would respect the sovereignty of Canada's Indigenous people and treat them on a nation-to-nation basis.

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen, who represents the area, said the conflict has been developing for years - in part because of a failure to recognize the nuances between elected and hereditary Indigenous governments. "We haven't had positive experiences with RCMP and police forces".

Cpl. Madonna Saunderson would not say how many RCMP officers were involved in the operation.

The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, who claim to speak on behalf of all Wet'suwet'en, have said they are concerned the government and corporations are ignoring the voices of Indigenous communities.

The checkpoints were blocking access to a liquefied natural gas pipeline construction site in northern B.C. One has been in place for nearly a decade and includes a camp and gate that obstructs the Morice West forest service road and the Morice River Bridge.

"In this government, you have a partner willing to figure out the path forward that is right for each of you, and eventually right for every Indigenous person in this country", Trudeau told the Indigenous leaders who had moved to the new venue with him.

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