Members from the Haisla Nation organized a walkout Friday (Nov. 19) in Kitimat in solidarity with opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline who were arrested Nov. 18 near Houston.
Horns were honked in support of these members as they stood in front of the friendship pole on Haisla Blvd.
The walkout came after RCMP cleared a blockade on the Morice Forest Service Road near Houston arresting 14 individuals.
According to Coastal GasLink, there were 500 workers that had been stranded since Sunday (Nov. 14) when the blockade was erected.
The group of blockaders say they were enforcing an eviction notice issued by the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in January 2020.
Before the blockade went up, Coastal GasLink employees were told to leave Wet’suwet’en territory in a move the company said contradicts a court order.
The Kitimat walkout was not organized by the Haisla Nation Council and Chief Councillor Crystal Smith released a statement regarding the current situation.
“This is not a statement of how another Nation should resolve their own internal issues; we have always said that is up to a Nation on its own,” said Smith.
“We do hope, however, for a peaceful resolution to what is taking place, and one that brings understanding to everyone for what is really at stake.”
The Haisla Nation Council has continued to support the LNG development and has been used as a means to offer more to membership.
“The arrival of LNG projects has been transformational for the Haisla Nation,” said Smith. “The stakeholders of these projects have, in our view, truly recognized First Nations as crucial participants to development. We have ‘a share and a say’ – a dream past Haisla leaders held, which is being realized today.”
Police continued the enforcement Friday, arresting 15 more people.
-With files from the Canadian Press