Penticton Indian Band stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

“We’ve lived in this area for 10,000 years, and our knowledge is being disregarded…” - Chad Eneas.

With hands in the air and voices singing, local Indigenous leaders and community members in Penticton stood in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en — in the protection and defence of their unceded territory.

Together they gathered on the steps of the Penticton Court House before crossing the street where they continued their demonstration in Gyro Park.

In a joint statement, Snpinktn (Penticton) Hereditary Chief Adam Eneas and Penticton Indian Band (PIB) Chief Chad Eneas made it clear they stand in unity on issues of jurisdiction over traditional territory and decision making.

They added they recognize the “divide and conquer” tactics of the Province of B.C. and Canada, which results in the “unlawful invasion of Wet’suwet’en Nation’s unceded territory.”

This stems from issues relating to the construction of a 670-kilometre pipeline in northern B.C., scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

READ MORE: What the Wet’suwet’en case says about how Canadian courts address Indigenous law

All clans within the Wet’suwet’en Nation have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided consent to Coastal Gaslink or TransCanada to start any projects on Wet’suwet’en lands, the statement explains.

“By trespassing on Wet’suwet’en traditional lands, CGL has infringed on Canadian and international law and has compromised sites central to the spiritual and cultural well-being of Wet’suwet’en people,” they said.

Before gathering on Monday, Adam spoke with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Namox, and received his blessing to stand with them in raising awareness about this issue.

“I’m certain there’s a way for a peaceful resolution, and there’s no need for the use of force,” said Chad at the gathering downtown Penticton. “Women and children are being hurt up there.”

The main message that they want to convey, Chad explained, is that they are standing united.

“Our hereditary chief and our elected chief systems that were in place before colonization and settlement here are; that’s the real need for reconciliation, to find a way forward so that we have a bright future,” said Chad.

“We’ve lived in this area for 10,000 years, and our knowledge is being disregarded when there are decisions being made. Now that says something. In 200 years, in 50 years, we can’t drink the water here no more. What does that say?”

They are not alone in this, Chad explained, adding that everything is connected; from the killer whales in the ocean to the salmon in the Okanagan.

“We need to know that … our interests are going to be protected in that aspect,” he said.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow said like Chad, he also stands with the Wet’suwet’en.

“The mistreatment that they’re going through, after the signing of Bill 41, what’s Horgan doing?” said Crow. “He signed it, is it just a tokenism, a signature to it, or is there actually commitment? And there is no commitment at this point in what I see.

“They need to make the changes,” he said.

Rallies like the one in Penticton on Monday, for Crow, represent an opportunity to show that they are united.

“The hereditary chiefs, they’ll hear us, that we’re doing this to help support them, and I know they would help support us in anything we need too; it goes both ways,” said Crow.

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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

 

Protesters hold up a banner showing Syilx support for the Wet’suwet’en fight against the construction of a pipeline in northern B.C. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Just Posted

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

Okanagan rental housing market facing challenges due to COVID-19

The impact on real estate markets remains a wildcard

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

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