B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett speak briefly to the press following Thursday’s discussions with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Quinn Bender photo)

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Initial talks between the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and ministers from the provincial and federal governments have wrapped up for the day with plans to continue tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters outside the Office of the Wet’suwet’en in Smithers, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser said the mood in the room was positive and they’re optimistic about heading into Friday’s discussions.

Neither minister would comment on the groundwork laid today with the hereditary chiefs.

“It’s not appropriate to talk about,” Fraser said. “We don’t want to jeopardize anything. We had a productive day today and hopefully a very solid day tomorrow.”

Hereditary chief Na’moks, who’s taken on the role of spokesperson for the chiefs, did not comment to the press.

READ MORE: Wet’suweten hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks

The meeting comes amid continuing protests and road and rail blockades across the country, including at the B.C. Legislature this week. The protests have been ongoing since early February in opposition to the Coastal GasLink (CGL), a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline being built through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

Na’moks said earlier today it’s still premature to speculate when the blockades will end.

“Most of them [supporters] are awaiting us to request it. If they see progress then things will quickly deescalate. We just ask that things remain peaceful.”

READ MORE: Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Earlier today the RCMP announced they will cease patrols of the Morice West Service Road during the talks. CGL also announced a two-day pause on pre-construction of the pipeline in the Morice River area. These two conditions were critical for the hereditary chiefs to begin talks with the provincial and federal governments.

More to come.

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

Just Posted

Automated phone scam targets Shuswap residents

Scammers may be spoofing a local number and claiming they are with the CRA

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

Driver in North Shuswap observed vomiting after crashing vehicle, then running

Chase RCMP say woman was impaired, given 90-day driving prohibition

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Most Read