Another obstacle went up Monday for any LNG pipeline workers wanting to get to territory west of the Morice River.
A new checkpoint by members of the Gitdumden clan is now up at the 44 km mark on Morice Lake Forest Service Road south of Houston.
Clan members set it up the day an injunction against the Unist’ot’en camp blockade to allow Coastal GasLink access went into effect.
Gitumden Clan of Wet’suwet’en Nation building a checkpoint in support of the Unis'to'ten Clan’s fight against industry and to protect their traditional lands. They will control who gains access to Morice River Road West, where the Unist’ot’en Camp is.#Unistoten @APTNNews pic.twitter.com/yBEJrfbZmb
— Laurie Gail Hamelin (@Laurie_Hamelin) December 18, 2018
A media release said the house chiefs of all five Wet’suwet’en clans agreed to assert control of the Gitdumden territory that borders the Unist’ot’en , or Dark House from the Gil-seyhu clan, land.
It said that the checkpoint, “will follow a free, prior, and informed consent protocol whereby anyone seeking access to Gitdumden territory will be required to present themselves, respectfully, to spokespeople at the site. The checkpoint will remain in effect until further notice.”
The release said that this checkpoint is the hereditary chiefs reaffirming, “their stance on oil and gas export pipelines in Wet’suwet’en Yintah (traditional lands)”, described as covering 22,000 square kilometres.
“The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have not made any agreement with the Canadian or British Columbian governments to surrender or permit access to Wet’suwet’en lands for any pipeline corridors or construction activities,” read the release.
The same day the checkpoint went up, supporters of the camp occupied MLA offices in B.C., which according to a release from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) included Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, and Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark — the first First Nations woman elected to the legislature.
The UBCIC said it delivered a letter to the MLAs that read the following:
“The injunction and enforcement order ignores the jurisdiction and authority of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and feast system of governance. Supreme Court of Canada decisions, such as Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa and Tsilhqot’in, recognize that Aboriginal title includes the right to use, manage, possess land, and to decide how the land will be used.”