The Indigenous peoples of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have reached a tentative agreement in regard to the TransCanada Pipeline, despite hereditary chiefs still being opposed to the project.
The tentative agreement outlines that the RCMP will not interfere with the Wet’suwet’en residents, while the residents will also allow workers through the pipeline construction site.
In the past two days following the RCMP’s actions on Monday, there were nationwide protests from BC all the way to Quebec where demonstrators prompted a call to action against the RCMP. Here in London, over a hundred protestors rallied through the snow and cold in a call to action supporting the Indigenous peoples of the Wet’suwet’en Nations. Protestors blocked traffic and organized outside the RCMP building in downtown London.
Over a hundred protestors against the RCMP/Transcanada Pipelines were gathered at Richmond and Queens blocking off all traffic. pic.twitter.com/1zHCxwmbgM
— XFM News (@XFMNews) January 9, 2019
This follows after the RCMP forced their way through the barriers in the Wet’suwet’en territory and protest organizer Lela George says that the RCMP did not have any right to break through the Nation’s land. George also says the RCMP’s arrests on Monday were unlawful and an indigenous rights violation.
“With the arrests that happened, it’s a violation of UNDRIP. It’s just against the law for them to do that. We’re standing in solidarity with them because it’s just wrong and we’re just tired of fighting for what’s been ours.”
Article 10 of UNDRIP or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their land or their territories.”
Hereditary chiefs from all five clans in the Wet’suwet’en Nation have opposed the pipeline construction, while the elected chiefs were the one to make original agreements. George also criticized the lack of power from the hereditary chiefs despite them controlling the land.
“What the government is doing, is they’re choosing elected [chiefs] –wh[o are] people they’ve elected— to say ‘we’ve signed agreements with those people so it’s okay.’ They’re cutting out the original tradition people that don’t follow [their] way.”
Now, many are saying that both the elected chiefs and hereditary chiefs must give consent in order to make agreements regarding the land.
Many are taking to social media to voice their solidarity as well as criticize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep his promises for reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
The Prime Minister of Canada will be in BC today talking about pipelines and Indigenous rights.
How he can justify not engaging with what’s happening in Wet’suwet’en territory is inexcusable.
He has talked reconciliation now he has to walk the talk. https://t.co/JuENYrjcya
— Nathan Cullen (@nathancullen) January 9, 2019