Approximately 30 protesters in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs gathered in Kelowna on Saturday.
Unlike other parts of the nation, where protesters have blocked roads and ports, the ones in Kelowna assembled at noon along a Harvey Avenue overpass.
A spokesperson said Saturday’s gathering was to raise awareness of the protests against the building of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through traditional Indigenous territory.
One participant, Jewel Gillies, told Global News that the rally was “another solidarity action that’s happening all across the nation to continue to raise awareness around what’s happening with the Wet’suwet’en people and their lands.”
Some drivers honked in support as they drove past, while others shouted expletives – all while the assembled protesters joined in unison drum over the words ‘protectors not protesters’ that was written in chalk on the bridge surface.
One woman, Janice August, who claimed she was a residential school survivor, said she was thankful “people are standing up,” especially those who are not First Nation.
August said she’s so “glad to have a voice” after all she has experienced.
The pipeline is part of a massive $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal project and will run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.