B.C. First Nation signs multimillion-dollar deal with gas pipeline company

Locutus

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A First Nations community in B.C. has signed an agreement with Coastal GasLink Pipeline that is worth approximately $2.8 million.The 650-km pipeline will transport natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat.

The Wet'suwet'en First Nation is located in the central interior of B.C.

"We have agreed to LNG projects - but maintain our opposition to oil projects in our territory," Wet'suwet'en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen said in a statement.

"In our current agreement with Chevron and Coastal Gas Link, we have ensured the inclusion of the clause which states at no time will this pipeline agreement, even if sold to another company, be converted to transporting oil or bitumen."

She said the community remains opposed to oil pipelines "because of their serious potential environmental impacts on our territories and traditional hunting grounds.

"This is liquefied natural gas, which has minimal risk during its transportation through these pipelines. We are confident that this opportunity will be beneficial not only to WFN but many other progressive nations as well."

B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad said First Nation communities had been left out of economic growth in the province for too long.

"It's exciting to be able to partner with First Nations like the Wet'suwet'en so they can share in the benefits of a new LNG export industry - stronger economies, good-paying jobs and collectively working to establish environmental legacies made possible by LNG development," Rustad said.


Sun News : B.C. First Nation signs multimillion-dollar deal with gas pipeline company
 

petros

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"We have agreed to LNG projects - but maintain our opposition to oil projects in our territory," Wet'suwet'en First Nation Chief Karen Ogen said in a statement.

"In our current agreement with Chevron and Coastal Gas Link, we have ensured the inclusion of the clause which states at no time will this pipeline agreement, even if sold to another company, be converted to transporting oil or bitumen."
unless it's Exxon/Mobil Canada.

Sacred gas was given to us by the ancestors.
 

Mowich

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Opinion: We are Wet'suwet'en and the Coastal GasLink pipeline protesters do not represent us

We want the protesters to cease their blockades and stop misleading people

The following was authored by members of the Gidimt’en Clan and released by Wet’suwet’en First Nation council at their request.

We are members of the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, together with extended family members from other Wet’suwet’en house groups and communities, both on- and off-reserve. Our clan territories include the area where the Coastal GasLink pipeline crosses the river we call Wedzin Kwa. We are deeply hurt and angered by the conduct and statements of some of our community members and others who claim to be defending our lands and laws against the pipeline.

Our concerns are not about the pipeline itself. Some of us support it, some of us do not and some are neutral. Our issue is that our traditions and way of life are being misrepresented and dishonoured by a small group of protesters, many of whom are neither Gidimt’en nor Wet’suwet’en, but nonetheless claim to be acting in our name to protest natural gas development. On Nov. 20 and 21, we convened a virtual meeting to discuss these issues and the recent RCMP raid that was carried out on our ancestral lands.

The first thing to understand is that the collective rights of the Wet’suwet’en people to use the land and resources within Wet’suwet’en territory have for hundreds of years been managed through a system of five family based clans led by a hierarchy of leaders who hold hereditary names that have existed since time immemorial. These names are connected to specific areas within our territorial lands, called “nowh yintah,” and have been handed down for generations in a complex governing system we call “Bahlats,” or “the feast hall.”

The names and the powers of those who hold them are conferred on the basis of merit and recognition and, in our Wet’suwet’en law, follow hereditary lines. Traditionally, leaders are groomed for many years by those holding higher rank in the feast hall before progressing to greater responsibilities. Proper conduct and “wiggus” (respect) are among the many valuable lessons passed on during the grooming.

This process and the conduct of other business in our traditional system is governed by strict laws and protocols that the leaders are expected to uphold. It is very sad that so many Wet’suwet’en women who supported the pipeline were stripped of their hereditary titles to which they were entitled and the names were passed on to those who oppose the pipeline. Unfortunately, the hereditary system has been disrupted due to disagreements over the pipeline. We hope we can move past this and come together in unity and peace. After all, whether hereditary or elected, the care and concern for the collective is central to everyone involved, even though they take different approaches.

The second important thing to understand is that our internal laws are based on a foundational principle of respect that we call “wiggus.” This basically means respect for all things: respect for ourselves and for each other, respect for other people, respect for the feast system, respect for our territorial land and clan boundaries, and respect for all the resources of the land. We reserve the highest levels of respect for our matriarchs, the wise older women who hold a special place in our affairs, as well as for the integrity of lands and resources that are held by other clans.

We regret to say that nearly everything the so-called Wet’suwet’en land defenders and their supporters have been doing is in direct conflict with these traditional laws and protocols. Their main public spokesperson holds a minor name and is very new to our feast hall. She cannot claim expert knowledge about our culture, yintah and feast hall. She is new to our nation and is not in any way a matriarch, as some have claimed. Nor has she, her supporters or any supporting head chief ever consulted any of us about what they are doing and saying on our behalf.

This rift originally stems from an internal dispute that took place in the feast hall and, although we do not wish to discuss clan business publicly, we will say that our matriarchs have been disrespected, bullied, marginalized and mistreated by those who are enabling the spokesperson’s influence on nowh yintah.


The protesters have also taken it upon themselves to invite violent people into our territories. We are not violent people. We settle our issues with dialogue and respect. We do not need “warriors” from other First Nations or non-Wet’suwet’en protesters to protect us or speak for us, especially when so many Gidimt’en and so many Wet’suwet’en do not support them. This adversarial approach places our community members at risk, and increases the risk to Wet’suwet’en women, including those who are hereditary chiefs. Remember, we live along the “Highway of Tears.”
Many
are also afraid to speak up because of bullying and alienation by aggressive and confrontational people on social media, who do not know the facts. While we understand that many strive to support our perceived struggles through social media, the fact is that many of them have no idea about the history, culture and dynamics at play here, and are doing a grave disservice to many grassroots Gidimt’en, whose ancestors have thrived on nowh yintah since time immemorial.


The multitude of outside voices on social media has also served to overshadow the voices of the Gidimt’en and Wet’suwet’en. It has left a majority of Gidimt’en matriarchs, Gidimt’en clan members and Wet’suwet’en voices overlooked, marginalized and disrespected. We are hopeful that those on social media will consider these points and allow all Gidimt’en and Wet’suwet’en to work through these issues in a peaceful and respectful manner that does not put anyone in danger.


It is very unfortunate that the conflict has escalated the way it has. Even though we strongly disagree with the militant actions of those claiming to act and speak on our behalf, we seek a peaceful resolution, and we sincerely hope that nobody gets hurt or killed.

There are other issues with these protests. Their campsites are environmentally disgraceful and the road that they excavated did not just block pipeline workers, it also blocked our members who use it to access territory and resources to which they are entitled.

We also very much understand climate change and the importance of caring for our communities and future generations, but we do not support the conduct of those who are harming the Canadian economy and encouraging supporters to “shut down Canada” during this time of pandemic and crises throughout British Columbia. This is not our way.


Continued at: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/op...gaslink-pipeline-protesters-dont-represent-us

Good to see that at least one of our national news publishers has the guts to print the truth and stand up for the majority of the Wet’suwet’en people.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Wow. . . that structure is almost exactly the same as the Shawnee!

Question. . . do they have a tribal council and tribal president, White-people style, in parallel to the traditional structure?

If so, what does each governing structure, traditional and modern, say about the pipeline?

NB: Native nations in North America didn't really have "warriors" per se. Hunter-gatherer societies aren't able to be that specialized. You could just as easily call a "warrior" a "hunter" or a "fisherman."
 

Mowich

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Wow. . . that structure is almost exactly the same as the Shawnee!

Question. . . do they have a tribal council and tribal president, White-people style, in parallel to the traditional structure?

If so, what does each governing structure, traditional and modern, say about the pipeline?

NB: Native nations in North America didn't really have "warriors" per se. Hunter-gatherer societies aren't able to be that specialized. You could just as easily call a "warrior" a "hunter" or a "fisherman."
They have a democratically elected band council and Chief, Tec.

The majority of the Wet'suwet'en people are in favor of the line. They live in the middle of nowhere. The line would bring prosperity and employment to the entire community. Three Hereditary Chiefs having illegally stripped two Matriarchs who supported the line of their titles ( that dispute also continues) and seeing an opportunity to cash in on some the anti-pipeline funds started the protest. As is the way of 'protests' these days the protest soon went national and blockades were springing up in various parts of Canada.

1638929420922.png
Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs from left, Rob Alfred, John Ridsdale and Antoinette Austin, who oppose the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, take part in a rally in Smithers, B.C., on Jan. 10. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

This has been going on since 2018. The Feds stuck their noses in a couple of years ago and to no ones surprise fucked things up even more. Completely ignoring the elected band council, they signed some sort of agreement with the rogue gallery above and slunk back to Ottawa. Part of the agreement was that the blockades would end and the protestors stand down. You can see how well that worked. And on it goes.

This is a good source of news on this and other FN's issues.
https://www.aptn.ca/
 

Ron in Regina

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The Wet’suwet’en First Nation has become a household name in recent months due to a faction of hereditary chiefs within the nation who oppose development of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. In a statement published by the National Post, the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation didn’t express any particular opinions on the pipeline, but reproached activists, the media and much of the Canadian political establishment for misrepresenting the influence of the anti-pipeline “hereditary chiefs.”

The statement said many of those now speaking publicly for the Wet’suwet’en on pipelines are acting in direct opposition to the nation’s traditional matriarchal governance system. “We are not violent people … We do not need ‘warriors’ from other First Nations or non-Wet’suwet’en protesters to protect us or speak for us, especially when so many Gidimt’en and so many Wet’suwet’en do not support them,” it read.


Meanwhile, in another part of B.C., the RCMP are still working to mop up the months-long illegal blockade obstructing a logging operation at Fairy Creek that was to involve stands of old-growth forest. There, too, the local Pacheedaht First Nation has repeatedly asked protesters to vacate. “Our rightful ownership and management of forest resources within our Territory need to be acknowledged,” read an April statement by hereditary and elected chiefs that was the first of many demanding “outside” activists to leave.

The rest at the above LINK….
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Thanks, Mo!

Seems to me the only way to deal with it is to deal with the "modern" tribal government (I don't use "modern" as any kind of a value judgement, I mean the elected government). The proper role of the traditional structure is to convince its members to vote for Candidate A, B, or C in the tribal elections. Otherwise the tribe gets bogged down in competing claims of this or that is how it's supposed to be under the traditional system, and the national and provincial governments won't have any idea who to deal with.

Would that be "unfair?" Yeah, maybe, by some definitions of what's "fair." But "fair" never had anything to do with it. Native systems of government changed over time in response to circumstances. Well, the European immigrants and their descendants certainly qualify as "circumstances."

Maybe this is none of my business. Take what I was with a grain (or a block) of salt. But in my experience with Natives down here, there's a lot of game-playing around "tradition." If they want the opportunity to participate fully (or less-than-fully, their choice) in the life and economy of the country, under the weird Canadian-but-also-something-else rules that the Europeans try more-or-less hard to make work, a tribe needs a single, recognizable authority for dealing with "outsiders" (i.e., the rest of the world).
 

MyOpinion

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When they cannot even get along with each other, how can any progress be made?
Both sides releasing news that oppose the others standing.
Oh but then, a bunch of money is thrown in and there is quiet..... until the other part of the clan wants more.
There is and never will be an end.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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When they cannot even get along with each other, how can any progress be made?
Both sides releasing news that oppose the others standing.
Oh but then, a bunch of money is thrown in and there is quiet..... until the other part of the clan wants more.
There is and never will be an end.
Everybody else manages to "make progress" in the midst of bitter failures to get along with each other.

It's called "politics."

To assume or conclude that Natives (generic term including Canadian FNs) can't or shouldn't is simply racism.

Even when it's the Indians doing the assuming or concluding.
 

B00Mer

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taxslave

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Wow. . . that structure is almost exactly the same as the Shawnee!

Question. . . do they have a tribal council and tribal president, White-people style, in parallel to the traditional structure?

If so, what does each governing structure, traditional and modern, say about the pipeline?

NB: Native nations in North America didn't really have "warriors" per se. Hunter-gatherer societies aren't able to be that specialized. You could just as easily call a "warrior" a "hunter" or a "fisherman."
Hereditary chiefs have no legal power. The entire notion of hereditary chiefs was done away with in the late 50s and replaced with democratically(in theory)elected councils. Hereditary chiefs can be bought by the highest bidder.
 

MyOpinion

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Everybody else manages to "make progress" in the midst of bitter failures to get along with each other.

It's called "politics."

To assume or conclude that Natives (generic term including Canadian FNs) can't or shouldn't is simply racism.

Even when it's the Indians doing the assuming or concluding.
I assume nothing.
You said it "Everybody else manages to "make progress" in the midst of bitter failures to get along with each other." and it does not seem to go that way.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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I assume nothing.
You said it "Everybody else manages to "make progress" in the midst of bitter failures to get along with each other." and it does not seem to go that way.
To be clear, I honestly didn't mean to state or imply that you were assuming or concluding that. Just that I hear it a lot.

But I would suggest it does, indeed "go that way." Otherwise Canada would still be nothing but a handful of colonial families living in log cabins and pecking away at a few acres of dirt.

Not that I'd mind that, but all "progress" is made by people who don't get on, but manage to put aside their differences for the common good.
 

MyOpinion

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Before Canada 🍁 builds pipelines we should be getting clean drinking water these First Nations communities..


After that, build all the pipeline we can..
Clean drinking water is a government problem.
Getting gas and oil to market is a private business problem.
2 separate problems with 2 separate entities in play.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Clean drinking water is a government problem.
Getting gas and oil to market is a private business problem.
2 separate problems with 2 separate entities in play.
Does it need to be a government problem? Maybe one of those "creative solutions" folk talk about is to make upgrading the water supply and quality part of the compensation to the nation.