Hereditary Chief Ronnie West, centre, from the Lake Babine First Nation, sings and beats a drum during a solidarity march after Indigenous nations and supporters gathered for a meeting to show support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation, in Smithers, B.C., on January 16, 2019. More than 200 Canadian musicians and industry players are standing in solidarity with people from a northern B.C. First Nation as they protest the construction of a natural gas pipeline on traditional territories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Members of B.C. First Nation plan new camp to block natural gas pipeline path

The company says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils

Members of a First Nation in northern British Columbia who oppose a planned pipeline through their traditional territory say they will build a new camp to block its path.

A statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday says the Likhts’amisyu clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is asserting its sovereignty by creating “a new, permanent land reclamation on their territory.”

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink stops work on pipeline over trapline dispute in northern B.C.

It says the camp will be ”strategically located in order to impede the ability of the Coastal GasLink corporation to force their pipeline through Wet’suwet’en land.”

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would transport natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s export terminal on the coast in Kitimat, B.C.

The company says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along its path but the hereditary clan chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation say the project has no authority without their approval.

In January, RCMP enforced an injunction against members of the nation’s Gidim’den clan and supporters who built a blockade along a logging road toward the project’s work site.

The Unist’ot’en camp, led by members of another clan, was conceived as a re-occupation of the land and has been a focal point of resistance against Coastal GasLink and other proposed oil and gas projects for almost 10 years.

“It’s important that people realize this fight is far from over,” the statement says.

“The events of December and January should be regarded as one phase in a struggle that has been going on for a decade. A new phase of struggle will begin in the spring of this year, and it may prove to be the decisive one.”

Coastal GasLink says in an emailed statement that it is aware of social media discussions regarding the construction of new structures in areas near the company’s right of way.

Preliminary construction activities are underway and the project has permits and authorizations from British Columbia’s environmental assessment office and the BC Oil and Gas Commission, it says.

“We continue to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities to ensure the pipeline is built in an environmentally sustainable manner that ensures First Nation members, businesses and local communities maximize their economic opportunities.”

The Likhts’amisyu clan statement calls for volunteers to help build a cabin, outbuildings and a structure for a kitchen, dining room and bunks from April 28 to May 18.

The camp will be led by warrior chiefs Dsahayl and Smolgelgem, who is also known as Warner Naziel and co-founded the Unist’ot’en camp.

“We will be building permanent buildings on our territory in an effort to assert our pre-colonial rights and jurisdiction on our lands,” the chiefs say in a statement.

The project’s website also says they are embarking on “a path of litigation (that) will hold all colonial antagonizers accountable for their actions against our people.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Global 6K for Water held in Maple Ridge

Fundraiser benefits World Vision water projects

Kidney donor honoured by city committee

Maple Ridge realtor received surprise award

COLUMN: Enjoy your own artistic expression

Who cares if your work doesn’t belong in the Louvre

Car Free Day and more on Father’s Day

Things to do in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows this weekend

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read