A checkpoint set up on Morice River Rd by the Gitdumt’en Clan of the Wet’suwe’ten Nation in British Columbia has blocked an attempt by to post an injunction notice on the gate of the Unist’ot’en camp 20 kilometres down the road according to the company.
“We hoped to be able to communicate and find solutions, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said Jacquelynn Benson, a spokesperson for Coastal GasLink.
“We posted the interim injunction at the new Gitdumt’en checkpoint and will now take a step back to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”
A message was also posted on a Facebook site set up by the Unist’ot’en camp at approximately 11 p.m. PT that said the company “tried to serve an injunction order today at the bridge but couldn’t,” the post said.
(Members of the Gitdumt’en Clan build a check point on Morice River Rd. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)
On Tuesday, members of the Gitdumt’en Clan set up a checkpoint on the same road that leads to the Unist’ot’en camp.
The camp has been in place since 2010.
On Friday, a B.C. judge granted an interim injunction to Coastal GasLink to have the gate that blocks access to the road leading to the CGL pipeline site removed.
Members of the camp say the gate is still in place.
“Fists raised to the new Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gitdumt’en Territory, which is being enforced by house chiefs of all five Clans and is outside and before the injunction zone,” said the Facebook post. “The situation we have is not an Unist’ot’en problem; it’s a Wet’suwet’en and government problem.
“They are trying to reduce it down to try and move the pipeline forward, and as far as we are concerned that’s not going to happen as Hereditary Chief Kloum Khun says.”
The pipeline will run 670 km from Dawson Creek, B.C. to Kitimat on the coast where the fractured gas will be refined before being shipped.
According to the company, it needs access to the Unist’ot’en camp to continue to build a 190 km section of the pipeline through the Wet’suweten Nation.
The pipeline project seems to have divided the elected band council, and hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
(First Nation LNG Alliance CEO Karen Ogen-Toews)
According to a statement released to APTN News from members of the First Nation LNG Alliance speaking to the Gitxaala Nation on Tuesday, CEO Karen Ogen-Toews said that the split between elected and hereditary chiefs is not serving the people.
“It is sad that within the Wet’suwet’en Nation it is broken and we need to fix it. Our people need both the hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs to work together for the people,” said Ogen-Toews.
“I pray and hope that we can come together as one people and work together so our people can prosper.”
The Unist’ot’en camp and the new checkpoint has support from all five hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation according to a release posted on Facebook.
The elected council voted in favour of the deal with Coastal GasLink.
“We have the opportunity to re-instil our economy of our past… and bring it into a modern context,” said Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of Haisla Nation.
Haisla Nation signed a benefits agreement with LNG Canada. An LNG processing plant will be built in Haisla’s traditional territory.
“It is imperative that we become united, united as Indigenous communities for the benefit of our people,” Smith said.