RCMP establish exclusion zone on Wet’suwet’en territory: Chief Na’moks

“We have never ceded nor surrendered our jurisdiction and authorities.”

(Coastal GasLink Pipeline Map. Photo: APTN File)

The RCMP have established an exclusion zone or road block near the site of disputed pipeline construction on unceded Indigenous land in northern B.C., APTN News has learned.

“Yes, it is up,” Chief Na’moks (John Ridsdale) confirmed Monday of the police barricade on the Morice West Forest Service Road outside Houston, B.C.

“Just got information from one of my clan members, and there were media turned back as well.”

READ MORE: We’ve put all of our Wet’suwet’en Nation coverage online

It’s the same way police blocked the road on Wet’suwet’en territory last January.

At that time RCMP kept clan members and news media out of the area as they enforced an interim court injunction giving Coastal GasLink Ltd. (CGL) access to the area.

The company is constructing a pipeline through northern B.C. to the west coast, where it will transport natural gas to foreign markets.

Na’moks is one of several Wet’suwe’en hereditary chiefs who oppose resource-related projects despite support for the work from elected chiefs and many band members along the route.

CGL has permission from the B.C. government and its supreme court to access the area to construct a right-of-way for the pipeline.

The RCMP now look to be enforcing an expanded injunction approved by a judge on Dec. 31, however, a spokesperson did not return messages confirming this to be the case.

CGL said it was unaware of a police barrier in the area.

Na’moks said hereditary chiefs met with the head of B.C. RCMP – Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan – last week on Jan. 9 and asked her “to stand down.”

Several days earlier, the chiefs ordered CGL personnel to leave the area and the company complied.

Then the company publicized the discovery of downed trees and cans of accelerant it discovered near its worksite, which violated the court injunction.

The police said it had opened a criminal investigation.

Na’moks said members of the clan had cut the trees to protect themselves from a police incursion like the one that led to violence and 14 arrests at the site last January.

“We are here to protect our clean water and lands,” Na’moks said in a message to APTN Monday. “We have never ceded nor surrendered our jurisdiction and authorities.

“We inhabit our ancestral villages and with to protect our sacred sites for all future generations.”

There were several rallies of support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation across Canada last weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for aptnnews.ca. A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.


4 thoughts on “RCMP establish exclusion zone on Wet’suwet’en territory: Chief Na’moks

  1. Sounds like they don’t want the pipeline to cross their lands. Easy fix, Go around them. A bit more expensive but maybe other people may want the money. Don’t bow down, go around.

  2. – Barriers should be put up against the police and RCMP, go pollute the water, land and air your children breath before destroying ours.
    – learn respect and empathy for others.
    – westernization has financially benefitted through the depletion of First Nations natural resources.
    – First Nations communities have our own laws and ways of life and respect for nature.
    – Governments need to stop terrorizing, they are just a part of the pyramid scheme, out to financially corrupt & capitalize.
    – Inter-generational trauma is occuring now, communities continue to be victimized by the government and RCMP etc.
    – white European racism and the theft of indigenous lands created the foundations and benefits north americans/canadians enjoy.

  3. Hopefully Megan and Harry will show up to protest? It would be an excellent start in their new freedom.

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