Roughly 40 people gathered at NWT MP Michael McLeod’s office at noon on Friday to demonstrate support for Wet’suwet’en Nation members attempting to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en – on unceded land not covered by treaty – say they did not give consent for the liquid natural gas pipeline to pass through their traditional territory.
If built, the pipeline would run from Dawson Creek, BC, to the coast near Kitimat.
How the Coastal GasLink project proceeds has broad implications for the handling of future development on unceded land by all levels of government.
RCMP have begun attempting to clear Wet’suwet’en camps following the BC Supreme Court’s December decision to grant Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction.
Arrests and confrontations have followed. RCMP said they had no choice but to enforce the court’s orders with no peaceful resolution in sight.
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs objected to that decision. The CBC described the relationship between chiefs and the police as “visibly strained” on Saturday.
To that backdrop, Yellowknife’s rally took place among a range of events held across the country.
McLeod was not at his Yellowknife constituency office to receive the group on Friday lunchtime. Demonstrators left messages and posters with his assistant.
Ollie Williams contributed reporting.