Hundreds in Kelowna rally in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Hundreds of people from all cultures and ethnicities came together to show their support for the Wet’suwet’en First Nation by marching through downtown Kelowna last Sunday. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Hundreds gathered outside the Kelowna Law Courts to take part in a rally to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation in its fight against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline last Sunday.

Last Thursday, RCMP began enforcing an injunction order against Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and supporters blocking a liquefied natural gas project that goes through its traditional territory in B.C.’s northwest region.

Since then, six people were arrested at a protest camp as well as another 11 for allegedly barricading themselves in a warming centre along the only access road to the construction site for the contentious pipeline project, which runs across Wet’suwet’en territory.

Dixon Terbasket helped organize Kelowna’s rally. As a member of the Syilx First Nation and wildlife technician with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, he was happy to see people of all ethnicities come together to support Canada’s First Nations people and their land.

“What we’re doing is trying to create awareness,” said Terbasket.

“I just want to be respected as a human being, as somebody from this land and my children should have the same opportunities as (everyone else).

“It’s good to see people from all different backgrounds here. There’s an open dialogue created by people supporting us.

”It’s not just those guys, it’s us guys and that makes a big difference.”

The pipeline, which is part of a massive $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal project, runs from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.

The forestry road is part of an ongoing exclusion zone, which means that only police officers, hereditary chiefs or elected officials and media have been allowed through the checkpoint.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Six arrested as RCMP enforce injunction at Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camps

As tensions remain high along the rural northern B.C. road, a number of demonstrators had been protesting RCMP actions by occupying the legislature in Victoria for more than 24 hours.

Another protest shut down access to the Port of Vancouver.

Gail Classens, one of the rally organizers in Kelowna, said it was important to take action.

“We saw the call for international solidarity actions,” said Classens.

“There was the raid on Thursday and then we decided that we had to do something to answer that call, so we made a Facebook event and it started circulating.

“I’m really happy with the turnout.”

While the Syilx First Nation is more than 10 hours away from the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Classens said it’s important to unite as one and show solidarity.

“I think it’s extremely important, (the Wet’suwet’en First Nation) has asked for solidarity events and I think it’s important to stand up and try to fight back even if we are from somewhere that’s far away.”

— with files from Ashley Wadhwani

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Cavalry Chapel Kelowna

Attendees of the Sept. 13 morning church service may have been exposed, Interior Health says

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Regional district funding phased out for Friends of Fintry

Heritage site volunteer group loses $39,000 grant incrementally over next two years

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read