Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs release details of MOU

John Crawford
05/13/2020

Details are finally emerging of the draft agreement between Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and the federal and provincial governments.
 
The Memorandum of Understanding, reached more than two months ago in Smithers and due to be signed tomorrow, was released yesterday by the Office of the Wet'suwet'en on their website.

Wet-suwet-en-MOU_Mar1_2020_2.jpg
[Federal Minister of Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, Wet'suwet'en hereditary leader Chief Woos (Frank Alec), B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser -- in Smithers Mar 1, 2020 -- CTV]
 
It recognizes the rights and title of the Wet'suwet'en under the First Nation's system of governance, but does not address the chiefs' opposition to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline being constructed through their traditional territories.
 
 It does place timelines on negotiations affecting jurisdiction over land use planning, resources, water, wildlife, fish, and child and family wellness, among other things.
 
The MOU is not supported by elected chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, who say the deal was negotiated behind closed doors.

The elected chiefs have backed the pipeline project, and have signed agreements with Coastal GasLink.

They've also called for the immediate resignation of federal Indigenous Relations Minister Caroline Bennett, but yesterday Prime Minister Trudeau  praised Bennett for her work on a what he called very difficult file.

A rally is being planned for Smithers Thursday morning, by those opposed to the Memorandum of Understanding.

The rally will take place -- with proper social distancing, according to organizers-- in front of the Office of the Wet'suwet'en, beginning at 9:30am.

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