First Nations, RCMP reach agreement in northern BC. gas pipeline deadlock


SMITHERS, B.C. – The hereditary chiefs of the First Nation Wetsuweten say they have reached an agreement with RCMP to allow a natural gas company access through a bridge that had been blocked in their territory.

The settlement was signed today at the Wet & # 8217; s office, a day after the chiefs announced that an interim agreement would allow First Nation members to observe a court injunction, allowing Coastal GasLink workers and contractors have access to a workplace where natural gas pipeline is planned.

The RCMP said the agreement was closed after a four-and-a-half-hour meeting and that the Untist'ot en camp will be officially known as the "Unity Cure Center".

The agreement will result in the removal of a police exclusion zone covering the area on January 11, when access to the Morice River Bridge is established. Mounties said police will continue to patrol the Morice West Service Road (FSR) to "ensure the safety of individuals at the Healing Center and [Coastal GasLink] employees. "

In addition, the RCMP will establish a temporary detachment at FSR West Morice, with officers there posting in cultural awareness training on the traditions of Wet & # 39; suwet.

Wet suwet en opened the antipiloduto checkpoint after negotiations with the RCMP, saying "this is not over"

WATCH: Anti-pipeline coverage in northern BC at

The chiefs said that Thursday's meeting should discuss a Unist'ot'en ​​healing camp, which they wanted to remain intact.

They also wanted to discuss whether the camp could keep a gate in place, which locals say is vital to their safety.

The RCMP arrested 14 people on Monday when they imposed the injunction.

They also dismantled a nearby checkpoint erected by members of Wet Nation's First Nation, who say the company does not have the authority to work in their territory without the consent of the
chiefs of the nation's hereditary clans.

TransCanada Corp. says it has signed benefit-sharing agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the natural gas pipeline route.

B.C. Prime Minister John Horgan waiting for "peaceful resolution" to protest pipeline

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would operate on Wet & # 39; suwet & # 39; s territory until the LNG Canada export terminal at Kitimat.

The provisional injunction is intended to prevent anyone from impeding the company's work until the defendants, who include members of the Unist'ot camp, send a response.

Representatives from Coastal GasLink, including President Rick Gateman, waited outside to attend the meeting on Thursday.


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