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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs were able to negotiate rights and title over their territory. Fraser and Bennett? They got nothing as ‘differences remain’ in the Coastal GasLink dispute

Scott Fraser, BC Minister of
Indigenous Relations and

Yesterday, the provincial and federal governments, along with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, issued a joint statement saying three days of talks had been ... frank and substantive ... on issues around Wet’suwet’en rights and title.

According to Scott Fraser, BC’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation -- Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown - Indigenous Relations -- and Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Woos -- talks were apparently split into two separate areas of discussion. On one of these, there has been agreement ... on the other, there has not.

According to the government, and the Hereditary Chiefs, they have agreed to what both parties are calling, ‘... commitments to an expedited process to implement a draft agreement on Wet’suwet’en rights and title’.

This, apparently, will be reviewed by what was described as ... Wet’suwet’en clan members through Wet’suwet’en governance protocols for ratification.

I believe the democratic rights of all British Columbians, to have a say on issues that directly impact them, should be respected. This is why we hope the process, spoken of, will include the hundreds of members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, and their elected government. This however, will be something for the Wet’suwet’en people, and their leadership, to decide on.

Regarding the other area of discussion however -- despite three days of talks, the issue of what will happen with the Coastal GasLink pipeline, is still very much still in the air. 

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs were able to negotiate rights and title over their territory ... Fraser and Bennett got nothing as ‘differences remain’ in the Coastal GasLink dispute

For weeks the people of BC were held hostage by protests and blockades -- alleged to be in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs – and against Coastal GasLink.

We deserve to know why the federal minister for Crown and Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett – along with Scott Fraser, BC’s Minister for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation – were not come to some kind of agreement regarding the pipeline. 

Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief Woos
Why was the ONLY thing negotiated, and successfully I might add by the Hereditary Chiefs, was Wet’suwet’en rights and title to territory in their region?  

While we can all have a level of appreciation for both levels of government (federal and provincial) being able to engage in what they called ... ‘direct discussions’, as they ‘explored means to come to a resolution’ ... British Columbians must be asking themselves ... 

Will work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline now proceed without further disruption?’

Negotiations should be a two-way street, and government needs to insist that those demonstrating and causing disruptions, in their attempts to halt construction of the Coastal GasLink project, will stop their actions.


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