SMITHERS, B.C. – Hundreds of supporters and hereditary chiefs from around British Columbia gathered in Smithers to show solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
Chief Na’Moks says the rights of the hereditary chiefs to the land have never been extinguished.
He says no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over the land, and agreements signed by pipeline builder Coastal GasLink are illegitimate.
Coastal GasLink says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils involved.
Chiefs and elected council members from several B.C. First Nations, including Haida, Gitxsan, Babine Lake and Lax Kwa’laams, shared stories of resistance against industry and frustration with the application of Canadian laws during the gathering.
Harvey Humchitt, a hereditary chief with the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, where a tug ran aground spilling diesel and lubricants into the waters, says it only takes one incident to cause devastation.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS)