Approximately 25 people trudged through snow on the Millenium Trail on Jan. 10 to show their support for the Wet’suwet’en. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Approximately 25 people trudged through snow on the Millenium Trail on Jan. 10 to show their support for the Wet’suwet’en. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Terrace rallies as part of international week of solidarity for Wet’suwet’en

Marchers hit the Millennium Trail as part of an international week of solidarity last Friday

Rallying with signs, chants and sage, Terrace residents trudged through the fresh, heavily snow-covered Millennium Trail last Friday to show support with a nation taking over headlines this month.

On Jan. 10 at noon, approximately 25 people marched along Highway 16 in a response to a call to show solidarity for the Wet’suwet’en as Coastal GasLink (CGL) contractors attempted pipeline construction and tensions rise.

“The weather obviously was a bit of an issue but any day is a good day to stand up for Indigenous rights… I think everybody here has really good intentions and everybody came out with their hearts,” says Hilary Lightening, Terrace resident and rally organizer, who is of Gitxsan heritage.

“I feel like we’re all in this together. We’re a small group but we’re still mighty in our size.”

CGL plans to build a pipeline from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat and has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the planned 670-kilometre route, but Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the project does not have their consent.

READ MORE: RCMP create access control checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road

Earlier last week, the Wet’suwet’en called for an international week of solidarity from “Indigenous and non-indigenous communities who uphold Indigenous sovereignty and recognize the urgency of stopping resources extraction projects that threaten the lives of future generations.”

Following last year’s arrest of 14 people, tension is still high at a Wet’suwet’en checkpoint near Houston, where protesters have reportedly placed obstacles like fallen trees, stacks of tires covered by tarps and even fuel-soaked rags to bar access to crews and police.

Lightening says the marchers brought attention to how the matter is being handled by authorities.

“We’re taking a stand for their Indigenous sovereignty and land rights against CGL and are facing the threat of forced removal, again, from their territories by the RCMP,” explains Lightening.

“Right now, the threat is very real that the RCMP will choose to use lethal force and that is something that absolutely terrifies us.”

READ MORE: B.C. First Nation grants company temporary access to winterize pipeline site

At the rally, a Terrace resident who asks to be referred to as George, says these past few weeks have been stressful as he stays connected to friends who are present on the frontline of the CGL protest.

“It’s been very emotional, very stressful… It’s infuriating,” he says. “The energy there is very negative… [when I was there], I almost got ran over by one of the workers and the police accused me of spinning a knife around trying to stab around but all I had was a pen and trying to write down the license plate.

“It goes to show how much they’re reaching to portray those water protectors and land protectors in a negative light, they will create scenarios out of thin air and push it on us.”

George says he’s also marching to remind people that the pipeline affects the environment in the region, beyond Wet’suwet’en territory. He adds many First Nations people are known to struggle financially and it’s unfair to sign contracts with a hefty cheque.

“A lot of people, Native people are struggling very hard… it’s not just a one-off, it’s the whole community. So I think to throw money at people’s faces is pretty hard to deny but they’re not looking at the long term,” he says.

“I’m hoping they’ll realize the salmon runs are struggling more than they think and they’re going to realize that some pipeline money is not going to bring any fish back.”

Although the rally lasted for only an hour in the frigid cold, Lightening says it was great to see everyone come together, both First Nations and non-First Nations residents, to stand up for what they believe in.

“I’m just here raising up and standing with the Wet’suweten as their neighbors and friends,” she says. “I’m just a concerned citizen, who wants more for my children and my children’s children.”

The Terrace Standard has reached out to the RCMP for comment.


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Just Posted

Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Caledonia Secondary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant to replace its aging science equipment. (File photo)
Cal snags major grant to modernize science equipment

The $50,000 comes from a pharmaceutical company

Unemployment rate drops in northwestern B.C.

Large improvement since Spring 2020

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)
Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Cassie Hall Elementary School students pose for a picture in their garden. Since 2019, students and staff at the school have been attending to the garden project. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
Cassie Hall students grow a green sanctuary at school

The K-6 elementary school students and staff have been working on the garden project since 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read