Hundreds in Kelowna rally in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Hundreds gathered outside the Kelowna Law Courts to take part in a rally to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation in its fight against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline on Sunday (Feb. 9).

On Thursday, RCMP began enforcing an injunction order against Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and supporters blocking a liquefied natural gas project that goes through its traditional territory on the northwest coast of British Columbia.

Since then, six people were arrested at a protest camp as well as another 11 for allegedly barricading themselves in a warming centre along the only access road to the construction site for the contentious pipeline project, which runs across Wet’suwet’en territory.

Dixon Terbasket helped organize Kelowna’s rally. As a member of the Syilx First Nation and wildlife technician with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, he said he was happy to see people of all ethnicities come together to support Canada’s First Nations people and their land.

“What we’re doing is trying to create awareness,” said Terbasket.

“I just want to be respected as a human being, as somebody from this land and my children should have the same opportunities as (everyone else). It’s good to see people from all different backgrounds here. There’s an open dialogue created by people supporting us. It’s not just those guys, it’s us guys and that makes a big difference.”

The pipeline, which is part of a massive $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal project, runs from Dawson Creek to Kitimat on the northwest coast. The forestry road is part of an ongoing exclusion zone, which means that only police officers, hereditary chiefs or elected officials and media have been allowed through the checkpoint.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Six arrested as RCMP enforce injunction at Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camps

As tensions remain high along the rural northern B.C. road, a number of demonstrators had been protesting RCMP actions by occupying the legislature in Victoria for more than 24 hours. Another protest shut down access to the Port of Vancouver.

Gail Classens, one of the rally organizers in Kelowna, said it was important to take action.

“We saw the call for international solidarity actions,” said Classens.

“There was the raid on Thursday and then we decided that we had to do something to answer that call, so we made a Facebook event and it started circulating. I’m really happy with the turnout.”

While the Syilx First Nation is more than 10 hours away from the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Classens said its important unite as one and to show solidarity.

“I think it’s extremely important, (the Wet’suwet’en First Nation) has asked for solidarity events and I think it’s important to stand up and try to fight back even if we are from somewhere that’s far away.”

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Summerland councillor’s bid for NDP nomination rejected

Doug Holmes was told provincial executive would not accept his application

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read