The Stream

Is Canada respecting indigenous land rights?

Protests over proposed natural gas pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory have spread across country.

On Monday, March 2 at 19:30 GMT: 
Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en territory have long been fighting to keep energy companies off their land located within the borders of Canada’s British Columbia. Those against a 640-km natural gas pipeline are fearful that the project could contaminate their food and water supply.

Unlike other First Nations in Canada, Wet’suwet’en land has never been ceded by treaty to the government. But complicating the issue is a difference in opinion between two segments of First Nations leadership: While Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs are against TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink project, elected band councils have approved of the pipeline construction.

On February 6, Canadian police entered the territory to remove Wet’suwet’en land defenders from a protest camp. The move by authorities – which protesters view as illegal – has sparked blockades on major rail lines and roads to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. Some protesters have been arrested by police. The blockades have led to temporary layoffs for railway workers and disrupted rail service across the country.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll get an update on the Wet’suwet’en crisis. Join the conversation.


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Molly Wickham, @Gidimten
Spokesperson of Gidimt’en Camp

Candis Callison, @candiscallison
Journalism professor at the University of British Columbia

Shiri Pasternak, @shiripasternak
Research director at the Yellowhead Institute


Read more:
Canada at ‘tipping point’ over Wet’suwet’en land dispute – Al Jazeera

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.