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

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

Just Posted

Suspected drunk driving in Shuswap leads to discovery of rifle

Driver claims weapon for protection against cougars and bears

Thieves on gasoline-themed mission target North Shuswap

Chase RCMP ask residents to help prevent crimes of opportunity

The price of child poverty: Women parenting alone forced to live harsh reality

Latest figures available show 1,630 children in Columbia Shuswap Regional District living in poverty

Salmon Arm family has unique tie to original Stanley Cup

Shuswap residents will have opportunity to view iconic trophy on March 7.

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake North Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Vernon dust factor nearly five times that of Kelowna

Road grit a factor in uptick of advisories

Study continues on Summerland’s perpetual slide

Slide in Paradise Flats area has affected Trout Creek for more than 100 years

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Peachland to host International Women’s Day Celebration

The day will honour Okanagan women’s contributions to the land, water and their communities

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

New York performer can’t wait to bring Chicago to the South Okanagan

The timeless, award-winning musical comes to the South Okanagan Events Centre March 28.

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read