Pipeline project “hijacked” by five male chiefs
March 11, 2020
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Theresa Tait Day, a former Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader, told MPs a pipeline project had been “hijacked” by five male chiefs and criticized Liberal cabinet ministers for making a secret deal with them.
Speaking at a House of Commons committee meeting, Tait Day said the decision last month to meet with hereditary chiefs was a mistake, according to the National Post.
“The government has legitimized the meeting with the five hereditary chiefs and left out their entire community,” she said. “We can not be dictated to by a group of five guys.”
Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett met with a group of hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en community in Northern B.C. last month after weeks of crippling railway blockades.
After several days of meetings, the two sides came to an agreement, the details of which are secret while the hereditary chiefs take the deal back to their community.
The hereditary chiefs are opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a project that would bring liquified natural gas to the B.C. coast for export.
But Tait Day, part of a group called the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition who was stripped of her title of hereditary chief after supporting the Coastal GasLink project, said the vast majority of the people in Wet’suwet’en territory want the project to go ahead.
“This project has been hijacked by the five chiefs,” she said. “Over 80 per cent of the people in our community said they wanted LNG to proceed.”