Hereditary Chief Na’Moks addresses a crowd at Bovill Square in Smithers on Jan. 10. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Hereditary chiefs ask BC RCMP not to act with force against gas pipeline opponents

Solidarity rally for Wet’suwet’en took place on Jan. 10 in Smithers

A spokesman for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs says they have delivered “directives” to the RCMP, and provincial and federal politicians over the treatment of those opposed to a gas pipeline.

Speaking after a rally in Smithers, Na’moks says he and other chiefs have met with RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, as well as local New Democrat MP Taylor Bachrach and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson.

Na’moks says the chiefs have asked Strachan to ensure that officers maintain the peace and do not take violent action against pipeline opponents, who have set up camps and felled trees along the road toward a construction site for the natural gas pipeline.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en evict Coastal GasLink from work site near Houston

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the planned 670-kilometre route from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast, but hereditary chiefs say the project does not have their consent.

RCMP spokeswoman Dawn Roberts confirmed that a series of meetings is scheduled and ongoing.

But she says in an email that out of respect for those involved and in the spirit of what they are trying to accomplish, she will not share what is discussed until all the meetings have taken place or decisions have been made.

“We remain hopeful that these efforts will result in a resolution. This has been our focus and continues to be our focus,” she says.

The RCMP issued a statement Wednesday saying it’s investigating traps likely to hurt someone after patrolling the area where trees were felled across the road.

Officers found stacked tires with jugs of fuel inside, as well as bags of fuel-soaked rags. They also found trees along the side of the road that had been partially cut, which the RCMP say could be knocked down by wind.

Na’moks says the trees were felled for the safety of supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs.

Coastal GasLink responded to an interview request with an emailed statement.

“Coastal GasLink is approved, permitted and under construction today with more than 1,000 people working to build it, safely and responsibly,” Suzanne Wilton says in the statement.

She pointed to a news release that says clearing, grading, workforce accommodation, construction and other activities are planned for January between Chetwynd and Kitimat.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New outdoor market sets up in Clearwater

Vendor fees to be donated to Clearwater and District Food Bank

Volunteering helps communities function

“You need to be at the table and help make decisions, but also do the work. Put your money where your mouth is.”

North Thompson Community foundation spreads the wealth

Funds will be used by recipients for various operations and programs

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Clearwater food bank receives donation from tree planting group

Dynamic Reforestation out of Williams Lake donated $1,400 in light of International Hunger Day

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read