SMITHERS, B.C. – A Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief told a crowd of First Nation leaders gathered in Smithers, B.C., that no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over the land.
Chief Na’Moks says the rights of the hereditary chiefs to the land have never been extinguished.
He says the agreements signed by pipeline builder Coastal GasLink are illegitimate and the support shown by those gathered, and by many people around the world, proves the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders do not stand alone.
Chiefs and elected council members from several B.C. First Nations including the Haida, Gitxsan and Babine Lake, stepped up to share their support and stories of resistance against industry.
Wayne Christian of the Secwepemc nation told the crowd that “legislative genocide” had been waged against Indigenous peoples for generations.
Harvey Humchitt, a hereditary chief with the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, where a barge ran aground spilling oil into the waters, said it only takes one incident to cause devastation.