Wet'suwet'en Chiefs/Government Talks Back On

Kathy Brookes & Canadian Press
02/27/2020

A Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief says a miscommunication led to word that a meeting between the chiefs and the federal and provincial governments was cancelled today.

     But Chief Na'Moks says the meeting is going ahead as all sides seek a solution to the pipeline impasse that has inspired solidarity protests and rail blockades across the country.

     Na'Moks, who also goes by John Ridsdale, says government officials have asked the hereditary chiefs to tell their allies and other nations to scale back their protests -- something Na'Moks says he can't do -- but he says that exchange was not enough to derail today's meeting.

     Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett arrived in Smithers this morning for the talks, being hosted by the Office of the Wet'suwet'en. B.C.'s Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser was also set to attend.

     The talks are expected to take place today and tomorrow.

    A release this morning from the Office of the Wet'suwet'en says the chiefs agreed to meet due to the agreement by the RCMP to stop all patrols on the Morice West Forest Service Road and to close their outpost there and that Coastal GasLink would cease all work and security patrols on the Upper Morice. 

   The release says the Hereditary Chiefs have committed to keep the road free of obstructions for the passage of Wet'suwet'en people and their guests without interference. 

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