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

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Kelowna man in wheelchair following police-involved shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the male was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Alberta’s oil-by-rail plan a worry for Shuswap mayor

High volume of train traffic already an environmental/public safety concern

Snowplow accident leads to power surge, small claims decision

Tribunal rules Salmon Arm resident not entitled to additional compensation

Intentionally-set fire damages Scotch Creek building

Men help extinguish blaze by kicking snow on it

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Concert intended to help audience let go of stress and be happy

Northern Lights Chamber Choir celebrates 10 years of singing together

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Bursaries available for trades students at Okanagan College

“With this bursary, we want women to know that there is a place for you in this industry and a place for you to excel.”

A mother’s warning: Man follows Peachland teen to her home from Kelowna

The teen’s mother is warning others about the incident

Kelowna RCMP urge hit and run driver to turn themselves in

An alleged hit and run occured late Feb. 18

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Northern B.C. train derailment due to broken axle could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Most Read