Gidimt’en in northern B.C. anticipating RCMP action over anti-pipeline camp

First Nations group is calling for support as it anticipates enforcement of court injunction order

Cody Merriman, who carries the name Wedlidi, in the cook tent at the Gidimt’en access point camp constructed in northern B.C. to oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

Dozens of Indigenous people and their supporters have set up camp in a remote part of northern B.C., using a strategic access point to control who can get into the territory, as RCMP officers set up nearby.

The camp was built following an interim injunction from the B.C. Supreme Court in December to support Coastal GasLink with starting construction on a nearly 700-kilometre pipeline through the territory.

Coastal GasLink has said it needs access to the area as soon as possible to meet construction deadlines for its role in an estimated $40-billion natural gas pipeline and transformation plant.

The Gitimd’en are one of five clans that make up the Wet’suwet’en. In total, there are 22,000 square km of Wet’suwet’en traditional territory in this northern region of B.C., an area that was part of the landmark Delgamuukw case where the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the Indigenous nation’s land rights and title had never been extinguished. MORE

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