Coastal GasLink: Exploring Indigenous support and opposition Coastal GasLink: Exploring Indigenous support and oppositionThis is an incredibly complex situation, obviously with many different viewpoints, and so we wanted to bring in three indigenous voices to explore the different sides with us from the what’s so it to nation is Molly wicker, the spokesperson for them Clan in Vancouver. We have Chief Dan George elected chief of the burns like bandana board member of the First Nations LNG Alliance in an arse Vancouver Studio, Clifford at Leo, and associate professor at Simon Fraser University, who specializes in indigenous governance and Resource Management.
Thank you all for joining us today, cheap torch. I just want to ask you first to or supporter of the coastal gasoline pipeline. Why is that Community boat on it and most of my community 80 % voted in favor of the gas line, so that gave me my marching orders to do what I need to do to negotiate the best deal. I can for my my Reserve, so tell me so tell me why you think 80 % of the people on your and you’re in your community voted for this week. Do you need the northern BC there’s a huge mountain pine beetle that that has devastated all of the Define in northern BC and there’s no there’s not very much.
Login is very few opportunities now, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He also got to realize also that there is a gas line. It’S been hitting all of our communities since 1959 and we have never never seen anything bad go wrong with it. Lots of people use that line for recreational purposes, quading in the Summers, snowmobile and then the winter. But in another thing I also believed to is that we all have our own monitors on the grounds environmental model, making sure that it is done right and protecting the environment at the same time, with our own eyes on you and not just rely on the company.
Molly as a spokesperson for The Condemned and Clan of the what’s a wet Nation, how do you respond to all of this being built so that it can also run oil through our territories and we actually have over 50 violations with the permits that are currently in Place that are happening on what to attend territory that they’re not following their own standard or not they’re, in violation of all of their permits, environmental permits and consultation with the proper title holders of which to attend territory.
We know that 80 % of one of the communities with Set photo against this project twice, and then they had a private vote in order to pass this through. Other communities did not have a vote at all. There was not proper consultation with the community to make these decisions, and none of the pipeline is actually through any of the reserve communities. It runs through the traditional territories governed by The Witcher, 2 Nevada Tere Chiefs. So what do you say to that? That it does not have the permission of the hereditary Chiefs.
Molly says that there are concerns our environmental concerns that the company has broken some of its reggaeton regulations government and they put it into the legislation that it was cannot be converted to oil. So that’s a no right to life on it’s converted to oil that we have a signed agreement with the province and it says in that agreement that it cannot be converted into an oil line. What you make so I’ll go ahead, but all that is where tooth, and so what do you say, though? The argument that has been made that the hereditary Chief, the what’s Houghton hereditary Chiefs, have not been properly consulted, have not given their permission or other the long.
The line that have said no to the project, even though there are many that have said yes, bands have signed on to the coastal gas leak project. I do respect the red cherry Jeep, but they have their roles also on teaching us us a lot of our traditions. They don’t come to hurt our reserves and they they don’t teach us the Traditions like they’re supposed to and then, as as a chief I got to fold want my people want and they wanted Natural Gas. The best be like this. For my people Clifford, I want to bring you into this conversation.
Just what are your observations? What are your? What are your insights, given what we’ve just heard, given the kind of no disagreement that we’ve just heard yeah? Well, I think the disagreement is natural. You know that indigenous people always seem to be the only people that the government or corporations expect to be completely United and that’s just not realistic. . The other thing is think about these things. As a professor from a sort of broader contextual perspective, we do have disputes within communities that’s natural, but we also have divisions that have been driven by the government of Canada by the Indian Act, who instituted these foreign governments in our communities and Kevin power.
Those governments, in many ways to the point where the only way community people can access resources are access. You know any kind of stay tends to be threw the band Council system but hereditary governments, which you know have been around for thousands of you. Please territories have constantly continually try to assert their jurisdiction, and this is just another form. It’S not just a very recent thing, but it’s a long historical thing that is ongoing and Canada and Molly were hearing.
We’Ve been hearing a lot of talk from politicians, including the prime minister of Justin, Trudeau, that we need to respect the rule of law. We’Ve heard from the opposition leader Neo talking about how these protests protesters need to check their privilege that they’re illegal blockades. How do you respond the kind of political rhetoric that were hearing from some politicians? Enforcement of injunctions has turned out for the wet, so it’s in which has caused a huge hop rising from coast to coast Across the Nation because of the Injustice and excessive force.
That was used against the proper title holders of these territory: the violation of Human Rights, the violation of section 35 rights, the violation of the Dow Chemical stay away court case, where we’ve never extinguished title to our territories. So the rule of law going to be touted needs to be followed on every level and recognizing indigenous with to attend law. This country is built on Stolen lands of indigenous people, the profits and the jobs that people are relying only exist because indigenous peoples lands were stolen and continue to be stolen and we Face excessive violence.
Russian. When we try to stand up for those rights, we’re getting paid by money’s stolen from digitas Land by the RCMP in northern BC, on the wetsuits in territory for the win Sumiton, but I have heard them say that they are not protesters I’m living there about this. There are protesters in Toronto, there are protesters and Victoria and Vancouver, but that would switching people are sovereign, indigenous people that are defending their territories, and I think this is why you see a resonating with community all across the country and even across the continent, because they Also recognize that they have legitimate claims, they have legitimate government government’s that precede Canada, and so they would so it’s in our being invaded.
You know, in my class the other day I was asking students. Why do I think know? Why do they think that RCMP are all geared up like they’re ready to invade Poland, and the truth is: is that it for the patella tendon for many other communities? They are an invading Force. They are an occupying Force because that land is unseated. It was never given up and never dealt with, even according to colonial law, so if Trudeau and she are going to talk about the rule of law that need to go back a little bit further than the last few know, two weeks or two years, one of My producers that hereditary Chiefs, that, while you respect hereditary Chiefs, they are not dictators.
What did you mean? What do you mean by that? Like a selected Chiefs, you got to follow what your people are telling you and so, and if you get 80 % of the people that are are for the pipeline, why are they not following the members Molly? What would you say to George our system of decision-making? Is thousands of years old and not speak exact system that were following? We have regular meetings within get them done Clan? Where do people have a chance to? Are there cern’s to support the Chiefs and the decision-making and directs the Chiefs? The Chiefs aren’t dictators there.
The speakers on behalf of the Clans, on behalf of their house group members and they’ve, made this decision and it’s finalized in our feast. All we had another feast and I’ll cleanse Beast last night and went to attend territory to reassert the position of the hereditary Chiefs to provide information and updates to the whole nation, and that is the most transparent in democratic. They could exist. And that is what we are basing our room and top of Clifford. I mean how do you? What do you? What do you say? 10 countries end in communities, but this seems to be a really tricky one.
You know, I think the news of the all plans meeting was really encouraging for me. So me, with all of this other stuff, hang on the fact that communities are getting together that they are able to assert their own traditional forms of government, traditional forms of accountability. I think it’s only a positive thing and if we can also get you know indigenous communities talking to each other along the pipeline, I think having those face-to-face conversations as opposed to being sort of divided and conquered by industry and by government.
I think it is just people are to be better off in the long run, while we tried and tried a little bit to do that today and we’ve Kate, I’m already taking the time to talk to us. Thank you very much. Thank you.The $6-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline has received approval from the province, and 20 First Nations band councils, but the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say those band councils are only responsible for the territory within their individual reserves.
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