Over 100 protestors marched through downtown London Tuesday to show solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nations.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have been fighting for years to stop construction of a massive natural gas pipeline through their territory in northern B.C.
London was one of many cites across the country that organized support for the hereditary chiefs.
“It’s the next seven generations we are fighting for, and it’s the unborn children we are flight for,” Yeyatalunyuhe George said.
“We have to make a change as people, look inside your house, see what you can do to change what you’re doing (that is) affecting the environment.”
George was one of the protestors who spoke outside the RCMP office on Dufferin Avenue this afternoon to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
Coastal GasLink, the company building the pipeline, signed agreements with 20 elected First Nations chiefs, including five Wet’suwet’en Bands, but they did not get the consent of the hereditary chiefs.
The CGL pipeline is worth $6 billion, stretching 670-kilometres across the province, just west of Dawson Creek to a facility in Kitimat.
Because the Wet’suwet’en have never signed a treaty surrendering their rights or title to their territory, the hereditary chiefs say they have the rights and title to decide what happens to their land.
Wet’suwet’en supporters have opted to block its construction in various remote locations in northwestern B.C., preventing workers from accessing certain parts of the site.
On Feb. 6, RCMP officers moved on to a Wet’suwet’en checkpoint camp to enforce a court-ordered injunction related to opposition against the pipeline. A number of protesters were arrested.
Elected Chief of the Kettle & Stony Point First Nation Jason Henry spoke at the protest saying what happened to the Wet’suwet’en now happened to his community 25 years ago.
“The people protecting their lands are not threatening people; there is no harm, there is no imminent threat to Canadians,” Henry said.
“Why are the RCMP or any other armed police force putting their violence onto our people, it is not called for.”
Henry’s Band was part of the historical Ipperwash Crisis in 1995 when members of the Stony Point Ojibway band occupied land in Ipperwash Provincial Park that had been expropriated from them during the Second World War.
During the occupation, protester Dudley George was shot and killed by a police officer who was later convicted in the shooting of criminal negligence, causing death.
With files from Rachael D’Amore Global News