Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Science | By

No easy answers in northern British Columbia pipeline impasse: Horgan

No easy answers in northern British Columbia pipeline impasse: Horgan

"The chiefs, they are the people who take care of the land".

A tentative agreement has been reached to allow workers for a natural gas pipeline company to access to an area in northern B.C. that had been the focal point of First Nations opposition to a pipeline project in their traditional territory.

According to the agreement, Na'Moks says company workers will be allowed across a bridge and the RCMP will also remove a roadblock that was preventing some members of the nation from accessing a Unist'ot'en healing camp near the bridge.

Napoleon said the governments and companies negotiating with First Nations on everything from treaties to resource development must find ways to include and accept differing Indigenous governance and legal structures as part of their agreements.

TransCanada Corp, now officially known as TC Energy, sought the injunction so it could begin work on the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, part of an approved $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project set for Kitimat, B.C.

However, members of the First Nation opposing the pipeline say the company failed to get consent from its five house chiefs, who are hereditary rather than elected. "We were, of course, mindful of the challenges at the Unist'ot'en camp".

"We look forward to future dialogue and continuing this relationship".

Trudeau said he was pleased tensions had eased between police and the First Nations over the pipeline on Wednesday night, and the time will come to answer questions about what was done and how it could have been handled differently.

We stand in unity and solidarity with our British Columbia Wet'suwete'en brothers and sisters who courageously and determined to protect and defend fairness, justice, and the truth.

"I know people would prefer to have, what's the answer, yes or no, but there isn't one", he added.

He said Wet'suwet'en band councils have authority over reserves and services, while hereditary chiefs control activities on their traditional territories.

Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, said the federal government wants to do everything in its power not to have "that kind of conflict or images that really put back the journey of reconciliation".

"There is a whole series of Supreme Court (of Canada) decisions that say if there are established rights and title-holders, if you are going to infringe on those rights, then you have to justify and accommodate for it", he said.

Theses military actions will not intimidate us and we will take all reasonable and diplomatic actions to support the movement to protect our Mother the Earth from designed destruction.

- With files from Laura Kane in Kamloops, B.C.

Like this: