Imagine you and your ancestors had cared for something precious for generations and it was about to be violated; how would you feel?
Heartsick is how I feel, that the Coastal GasLink fracked-gas pipeline is proceeding with drilling under Wedzin Kwah (Morice River). Indigenous leaders in that area have endured years of legal proceedings to gain recognition of their governance system and jurisdiction, and have proposed an alternate route for the pipeline.
So far, despite Canada-wide and international solidarity actions, those defending the Yintah, or territory, have been subject to RCMP harassment and arrest, sometimes at gunpoint.
There’s a powerful meme I’ve quoted: “First we took the children from the land, now we take the land from the children.”
But it fails to tell the real truth, that land theft was happening even before residential schools.
BC adopted legislation to respect Indigenous rights. But premier John Horgan is on record saying that legislation doesn’t apply to the CGL pipeline because it is “forward looking.”
Wait a minute; even two years since Horgan’s statement, the pipeline is not finished. It’s past time to step up to protect Wedzin Kwah and our prospects for a healthy future.
Jan Slakov is a qathet Regional District resident.