Hundreds took to Vancouver’s streets to protest the LNG pipeline in northern B.C. (Black Press file photo)

Local First Nations back arrested land defenders

Rallies erupt nationwide after RCMP dismantle anti-pipeline checkpoint

Local First Nations groups are standing in solidarity with the protesters opposed to a pipeline expansion in Northern B.C. who were recently forcibly removed from their camp.

Representatives of the Neskonlith band and other members of the Secwepemc Nation have expressed support for the protesters and condemned the actions of the Canadian government.

On Monday, Jan. 7, RCMP officers made 14 arrests while dismantling a checkpoint protesting an LNG pipeline project near Houston, B.C. The pipeline project in question called The Coastal Gas Link is planned to run between Kitimat and near Dawson Creek.

A sacred fire was lit in Neskonlith Hall on Jan. 6. A statement from the Neskonlith band says the fire is meant to symbolize support for the Wet’suwet’en as they face harassment and intimidation by a militarized police force poised to infringe on the human rights of Indigenous peoples.

Related: Splatsin members rally in support of anti-pipeline camp

“The Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en land defenders are standing in defense of their Indigenous human rights, as set out by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to self-determination, to protect their lands, cultures and wellbeing and to a process which respects their free, prior and informed consent on all matters impacting Indigenous Title and Rights,” the statement reads.

“The steadfast protection of our shared environment, territories and natural resources are a sacred responsibility shared by all peoples,” stated Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band. “Yet the brunt of the provincial and federal governments’ blind actions to prop up extractive resource industries continues to be borne by Indigenous land defenders, who only seek the protection of our lands and the health and well-being of all communities that depend on a healthy environment. Now is the time to stand up in support of Indigenous land defenders, human rights, the environment and the well-being of all our communities.”

“We are in a critical state of emergency dealing with the impacts of climate change, social injustices and huge disparity in social determinants of health,” said Secwepemc teacher Dawn Morrison in a written statement.

“This includes loss of control in decision making in matters impacting our traditional land and food system, as well as social issues such as poverty, increased violence against our women and high rates of death from substance abuse in our communities,” she added.

Related: Anti-pipeline protest rallies take over BC cities

Morrison, who is the founder of a working group on Indigenous food sovereignty, also wrote that many of the issues at play in Northern B.C. are mirrored in the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion which runs through Secwepemc traditional territory.

“The health of all Peoples downstream relies heavily on our ability to protect clean drinking water, both of which are at risk from both climate change and spills from the TransMountain pipeline that are inevitable.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Valdy gives volunteers a hand after Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Celebrated Canadian singer pitched in alongside starstruck clean-up crew

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen at Walmart parking lot

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Founder of Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange helps welcome Inashiki visitors

Twenty three Japanese guests visit city for a week, Salmon Arm to return in March

New attractions, rides and more lined up for Salmon Arm Fair

Event organizers invite community to be part of the growth

Memorial grows for teen who drowned in Okanagan Lake

Jaxsn Cahill drowned at Gellatly Bay Park in West Kelowna on Aug. 17

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to the Okanagan

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

‘Ghost bike’ memorial installed where Okanagan cyclist was killed by truck

Ernie Gabbs, 69, died at the corner of Dillworth Drive and Harvey Avenue in Kelowna on Aug. 12

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Most Read