(Photo supplied by Lindsay Newman, Vista Radio staff)
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have submitted a formal request to the United Nations.
They are requesting the UN monitor the RCMP, Provincial Government, and Coastal Gaslink activities on the Wet’suwet’en territory.
This request follows the set up of an Access Control Checkpoint, or “exclusion zone”, at kilometer 27 of the Morice River Forest Service Road.
A map of BC First Nations. Courtesy of native-land.ca
Gitimt’en Clan member and Media Coordinator Jennifer Wickham said the exclusion zone is concerning.
“They are denying Wet’suwet’en people access to their own territory, they are denying media, they are denying people who aren’t hereditary chiefs access to bring in food and supplies, which is completely contrary to the press release the RCMP put out.”
“It’s obvious that the people on the ground are not having communication, or are willfully ignorant of the communication from the RCMP that are responsible for putting out the press releases,” she said.
Wickham added the communication between a division liaison team member in Smithers and a Hereditary Chief was a different story.
“They wanted to put up a checkpoint to keep our people safe because they heard an Indigenous person was being racially attacked in the town of Houston.”
“Everybody was still going to be allowed through, they just wanted to keep a count for their own safety and that was not the message given on the ground.”
Wickham said she wants the fact that the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs collectively have jurisdiction over the territory to be the biggest takeaway.
“This isn’t just a small group of people who are trying to deter anyone from getting a job.”
“This is not a project issue, this is not a pipeline issue, This is a rights and title issue, and this needs to be addressed by the provincial and federal governments, and the RCMP have no place in that conversation.”
Coastal GasLink President David Pfeiffer requested a meeting today (Tuesday) with Chief Namocks.
Read the letter here.
– with files from Catherine Garrett, MyPGNow.com staff