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The latest on protests across Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs


Here is the latest news on protests across Canada over a natural gas pipeline project in British Columbia (All times Eastern):

12:30 p.m. ET

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake is proposing that its Peacekeepers head up a temporary Indigenous police force to patrol Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia.

Grand Chief Joseph Norton says the measure would allow the RCMP to withdraw from the area as hereditary chiefs and government representatives work to negotiate an end to a pipeline dispute.

Before the meeting began, the RCMP agreed to a condition proposed by the Wet’suwet’en chiefs to end patrols along a critical roadway while the negotiations unfold.

The hereditary chiefs have demanded the RCMP leave their traditional land entirely, but Norton says police services are still needed, and his community’s chief Peacekeeper has offered to work with other Indigenous police chiefs to gather the officers required.

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11:30 a.m. ET

The federal and B.C. Indigenous relations ministers have resumed talks with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs whose opposition to a pipeline project in northern B.C. has sparked solidarity protests across the country.

Carolyn Bennett and her B.C. counterpart Scott Fraser began the long-sought discussions yesterday afternoon and returned to the Wet’suwet’en office this morning.

The hereditary chiefs have said the meeting is a first step and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan to join them at the table, and Bennett appeared to leave the door open to that possibility in the future.

Bennett says she would want any meeting with the prime minister and the premier to be a good one, and therefore she and Fraser have to do the hard work they were delegated to accomplish.

Fraser says he had 25 hours of initial conversations with the chiefs several weeks ago and the province has been working closely with them, so they have a relationship already.

The talks were expected to wrap up Friday, but the ministers say they’re open to all options and might remain in Smithers over the weekend.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press



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