The Interior News has learned that the Province and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to a future meeting to discuss the latter’s ongoing dispute with Coastal GasLink (CGL).
In an emailed statement, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser said he was in Smithers on Wednesday but was unable to meet with the hereditary chiefs.
Instead Fraser said he spoke with representatives of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.
“We mutually committed to safety as a shared priority,” said Fraser.
“It’s unfortunate that the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were unable to meet with us. We will continue to search for ways to continue dialogue and to attempt to achieve a peaceful and safe resolution.”
A spokesperson with the ministry said the hereditary chiefs and Fraser have agreed to meet in the future, however a concrete date has not been set as of this article’s publication.
The Interior News has reached out the Office of the Wet’suwet’en for comment.
The meeting comes as a result of a Jan. 10 letter sent by hereditary chief Na’Moks to Premier Horgan and Justin Trudeau requesting to meet with both politicians.
While Horgan (who just returned to Victoria from a Northern B.C. tour) said he was unable to attend on such short notice, in a Jan. 20 letter the Premier offered to send Fraser to Smithers to meet with the hereditary chiefs.
The Interior News reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office for comment whether Trudeau would meet with the chiefs and received a statement from a spokesperson with the Office of the Minister of Natural Resources indicating the project “remains fully under provincial jurisdiction.”