The elected band council of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation near Burns Lake has issued a public statement in response to the alleged attacks on Coastal GasLink pipeline personnel and equipment on the Marten Forest Service Road, which occurred on Feb. 17.
A group of Wet’suwet’en and their supporters have consistently opposed pipeline construction, resulting in arrests over the years as RCMP have removed blockades so that work could continue.
“On behalf of the members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, we condemn this violent and destructive attack in the strongest possible terms,” the council said in the release.
“We want everyone to know that the people of our First Nation do not support anyone who protests in this way. These protesters do not represent us, or our values and they are grossly misrepresenting our traditional laws and customs. This is not our way. We call on those who are inviting violent non-Wet’suwet’en people into our territories to withdraw the invitations. We call on their supporters wherever they are, to stop funding criminal protests and to stop trespassing on our traditional lands,” they continued.
The statement went on to say that the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is encouraging anyone who has any information about the violence on the Marten Service Road to immediately provide that information to the RCMP.
“This was a calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multimillion-dollar path of destruction,” Chief Supt. Warren Brown, north district commander for the RCMP, said in a news release on Feb. 17.
There were no fatalities caused, though a RCMP officer was injured during the attack.
“We wish the injured RCMP officer a full and timely recovery. These are dark days. We recognize that there are dangerous and unpredictable criminals in our area and will not be making further statements or granting interviews at this time,” the Wet’suwet’en First Nation Council stated.
The RCMP is also asking anyone with information on the matter to contact them at 250-845-2204.
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