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

Requests for proposals for the first stage of a water treatment facility project have been issued by the City of Prince Rupert on Oct. 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Water treatment facility project in Prince Rupert enters first phase

Prince Rupert seeks proposals for assessment of water quality supply and treatment options

A Shoppers Drug Mart employee in Prince Rupert has tested positive for COVID-19 the company confirmed on Oct. 26. The last day the employee worked was Oct. 17. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Employee of Prince Rupert Shoppers Drug Mart tests positive for COVID-19

No COVID-19 public exposures alerts issued by Northern Health Authority for Prince Rupert

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

North Coast BC NDP MLA Incumbent is seen with her wife Andrea Wilmot and their son Lua, as well as their dog Duncan. Preliminary results on election night Oct. 24 show Rice is in for a third term. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read