Haisla Chief Crystal Smith at a First Nations LNG Alliance gathering in Prince Rupert Tuesday with members of the Gitxaala. Contributed photo

Coastal GasLink turned away by Gitdumden checkpoint

First Nations LNG Alliance stress cooperation as CGL unable to deliver interim injunction.

Coastal GasLink representatives were turned away Tuesday at the newly built checkpoint on Morice Forest Service Road.

The company said in a release that they were on their way to provide the interim injunction order to the Unist’ot’en camp further down the road when they were stopped by the checkpoint and turned away.

The checkpoint or blockade was set up Monday by members of the Gitdumden clan of the Wet’suwet’en. That clan borders the Unist’ot’en or Dark House of the Gil-seyhu clan that has set up a camp on west side of the Morice River bridge.

The interim injunction was ordered last Friday to go into effect Monday afternoon. It says that the Unist’ot’en must take down the gate blocking access to the area that pipeline contractors planned on working to prepare in January for construction of the natural gas pipeline in the summer of 2021.

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

READ MORE: Gitdumden checkpoint blocks access to Unist’ot’en camp

Full release from Coastal GasLink sent out Tuesday:

“Today, Coastal GasLink and a process server attempted to visit the Morice River Bridge to provide the interim injunction order. The interim injunction, granted by the British Columbia Supreme Court on Friday, December 14, provides Coastal GasLink with legal authority to remove the current blockade preventing the use of the bridge. The order also provided the Unist’ot’en camp with an additional three days to remove the blockade themselves to allow access to the public road. Regrettably, Coastal GasLink and the process server were prevented from posting the order at the bridge because of an additional blockade leading to the Morice River Bridge. The order was therefore posted at the first blockade. Although Coastal GasLink currently has a legal right to remove blockades, the team members who accompanied the process server today had intended to attempt to find a peaceful resolution to this situation. Unfortunately, in addition to further blockades, the project team was again denied access. Coastal GasLink will now take time to evaluate the appropriate steps necessary to ensure access is achieved in a safe manner for all those involved.”

First Nations LNG Alliance

First Nations supporters of the LNG project sent out a release Wednesday morning after an event in Prince Rupert held Tuesday by the First Nations LNG Alliance.

The First Nations LNG Alliance describes itself as a collective of First Nations who “are participating in, and supportive of, sustainable and responsible LNG development in B.C.”

Its CEO Karen Ogen-Toews is the former elected chief of Wet’suwet’en First Nation band near Burns Lake. The release said she spoke to Gitxaala Nation members and others on the recent headlines about divisions among hereditary and elected leaders of the Wet’suwet’en regarding natural gas pipeline developments.

““These two entities serve band members and clan members. The point is, they are the same people. As leadership, it is a tough balancing act. We need to find ways and means to sustain our communities economically. We need to balance the environment and economy, for the people,” she is quoted as saying.

Ogen-Toews was also quoted as saying that hereditary and elected leaders in the Gitxaala Nation have long been working together.

“You have been modelling for us all across BC how hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs can work together for the people, for your people. It is inspiring. Thank you for your wisdom.

“As a former chief, I attempted to bring our Wet’suwet’en elected chiefs and hereditary chiefs together so we can work together for the benefit of our people. It is sad that within the Wet’suwet’en nation it is broken and we need to fix it.

“Our people need both the hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs to work together for the people. Witnessing the Gitxaala and their words of wisdom, compassion and humility has given me hope for our Wet’suwet’en nation. I pray and hope that we can come together as one people and work together so our people can prosper.”

The release also said First Nations LNG Alliance chair, Chief Dan George of the Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band) pointed out earlier that there are hereditary chiefs who support the planned Coastal GasLink Pipeline the benefits promised for First Nations people.

Coastal GasLink has agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations — including Witset and the other Wet’suwet’en bands — along the 670-km pipeline route from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat.

The LNG Canada export plant in Kitimat that the pipeline ends at is on Haisla territory.

Haisla Chief Crystal Smith was at the event Tuesday, describing the LNG industry opportunity as “historic.”

“We have the opportunity to re-instill our economy of our past … and bring it into a modern context. It is imperative that we become united, united as Indigenous communities for the benefit of our people,” she was quoted as saying in the release.

“We as Nations that support LNG Canada and CGL need to actively support one another as we face the environmental activists that are (saying) that we as First Nations leadership sold out … our environment. Our Haisla Territory is our identity. It is our culture,” said Smith.

Chief Councillor Vivian Tom of the elected band Wet’suwet’en First Nation was also in attendance.

“I don’t mind environmentalists coming into our territory, but when they try to stop everything we have to think no. I am really thankful that we are going to have employment (from LNG development) in our Nation. It’s exciting,” Tom was quoted as saying.

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

 

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs at the Gitdumden checkpoint on Tuesday. Twitter photo

First Nations LNG Alliance CEO Karen Ogen-Toews. File photo

Just Posted

Smithers only taxi company closing down

BV Taxi parking its cars at the end of January

Coastal GasLink repeats desire for meeting with hereditary chiefs

Coastal GasLink says they’re ready to meet with the hereditary chiefs at their convenience

B.C. Green Party interim leader to visit Wet’suwet’en camps

MLA Adam Olsen stands behind First Nations

Bulkley Valley biathletes add to World Masters medal count

Callie Lancaster and Lèa-Marie Bowes-Lyon combine with Squamish’s Yvette Jackson for Relay bronze

Complaints filed against RCMP following two Gidimt’en members being turned away at police checkpoint

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association helped two individuals file the complaints

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Terrace woman found not criminally responsible in mother’s murder

RCMP were called to a townhouse on Scott Ave. on Aug. 2, 2018, following two stabbings

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read