Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that blockades in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline must come down, the chiefs have issued a new set of demands to government.
“We demand that the remote detachment (Community Industry Safety Office) established by the RCMP on Wet’suwet’en territory without our consent be immediately removed and that the RCMP are completely removed from our territory and cease patrols from our lands,” according to a joint statement issued by Wet’suwet’en and Mohawk chiefs, gathered at Mohawk Council House in Tyendinaga in Ontario.
The RCMP outpost was set up last year after RCMP dismantled the Gidimt’en blockade. At the time, hereditary chiefs agreed to provide cultural training to the officers stationed there.
Earlier this week, the RCMP offered to remove the station, as long as the Morice West Forest Service Road remained open.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline have also issued another demand to Victoria and Ottawa as a pre-condition to meeting.
“Out means out,” reads the statement. “We demand that all CGL activities cease within Wet’suwet’en territory while nation-to-nation talks are ongoing as persuant to the eviction notice that was delivered to them on January 4, 2020. We commit to entering into nation to nation discussions with Canada and B.C. once the above two demands are met and we insist when these discussions occur, that they will be held on Wet’suwet’en territory to ensure inclusivity for our nation’s Dini ze’ and Tsakiy ze’ (hereditary chiefs), and the members we are accountable to, in accordance with our law. “
In the statement they say that rail blockades could have ended days ago “if only Canada, B..C, CGL, and the RCMP had honoured their own laws as well as respected Wet’suwet’en laws.”