Wet’suwet’en solidarity reaches Prince Edward Island

Between 30 and 40 people have slowed traffic on the Confederation Bridge, which connects New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The Mi’kmaq-led protest began just after 12 p.m. Sunday and is the latest in a growing number of direct action demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs whose efforts to uphold their laws have been met with court injunctions and paramilitary RCMP encroachment on their territory.

Gilbert Alex Sark of Lennox Island First Nation in PEI told APTN News the demonstrators plan to stay for 24 hours.

“There’s people coming from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” he said, explaining they have blocked one lane into the province.

RCMP are on the scene “to ensure public safety,” said Cpl. Nick Doyle.

“It is a peaceful protest; we are making sure everyone is safe.”

Doyle said police don’t expect much traffic on a Sunday evening, and that if needed the police will direct traffic.

Demonstrators have lit a sacred fire that Sark says “will burn while we are here.”

Starchild, who also goes by Eliza Knockwood, is a Mi’kmaw filmmaker from Epekwitk (PEI); she is at the protest.

“The rest of our Nation throughout Turtle Island who are Protecting Mother Earth and our Waters for the next seven generations, from coast to coast and beyond — we are united, we stand together in solidarity,” she said.

In a statement from the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, an organization that oversees negotiations and consultation processes for PEI’s two Mi’kmaq First Nations, issued a statement in response to the protest Sunday.

“What Islanders and Canadians need to understand is that these protests happening across the country and now in PEI are about more than just the Wet’suwet’en situation,” they said.

“[T]hey are about centuries of Canada’s Indigenous people being denied access to the land and resources, they are about centuries of economic and social marginalization.”

Explore our full coverage of the Wet’suwet’en conflict here.