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

No personal information released following ransomware attack, says RDOS

The RDOS suffered an attempted ransomware attack in August, halting services

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

What we know: Who’s up for election this fall in the South Okanagan

Premier Horgan has called for a snap election to be held Oct. 24

Morning Start: Night Owls Tend to Be Smarter Than Early Birds

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

‘Totally unnecessary’ – Okanagan-Shuswap Liberals MLAs reacts to election call

Eric Foster, Greg Kyllo say call is “political opportunity;’ each will seek re-election

Most Read