Letter: Supporting Wet’suwet’en defence of territory

We strongly support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in protesting the plan to construct an LNG pipeline on their territory. We are appalled at the violent treatment of the First Nations people arrested recently by the RCMP for peaceably defending their territory.

When the new federal cabinet was sworn in on Nov. 4, 2015, the Prime Minister included this pledge in his mandate letter to every minister:

“No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.”

Related: Wet’suwet’en strike tentative deal with RCMP allowing access to protect camp

The words “nation-to-nation” demonstrate the Prime Minister’s awareness that First Nations have inherent rights to their traditional territory and sovereignty over decisions concerning what happens there.

These rights are enshrined in the Canadian Constitution. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada clarified in the Delgamuukw case that Aboriginal title constitutes an ancestral right protected by the Constitution.

Related: Letters: Public supports Wet’suwet’en defending their land and sovereignty

The use of injunctions and lawsuits against Indigenous peoples is contrary to these rights, and contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which protects their right to “free, prior, and informed consent” before any development can take place on their territory.

Another issue of concern in this pipeline protest is climate change and the contribution that this gas pipeline will make to it. Fracking, piping, and processing LNG releases methane into the atmosphere.

Methane is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

At a time when we need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050 in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, this pipeline and processing facility are clearly not in the interest of Canada.

Anne Morris


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

Seatbelts on school buses would come with safety, cost concerns

Retrofitting belts would cost approximately $240,000 for 24 buses

Highway 1 intersection top of Tank Hill tallies most crashes

ICBC data shows Salmon Arm motor-vehicle collisions from 2013 to 2017

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Alleged Okanagan sex offender arrested in P.E.I.

Offences occurred while Ivan Glen Winchester was living in Summerland between 2006 and 2010

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Kelowna subdivision slope erosion fuels landslide fears

City says up to $1.2 million in slope remedial work is required this spring

Senior Golds enter Okanagan Valley Championships as top-ranked team

Salmon Arm basketball team heads straight to semifinals after stellar season

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Parole angers parents of Okanagan manslaughter victim

Tal Kalum LaRiviere was arrested in Alberta Feb. 18. He had previously been granted day parole

Most Read