After occupation of Wet’suwet’en lands, including the arrest of land defenders by the RCMP, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs reached an agreement with the RCMP on January 9. This agreement stipulated Coastal GasLink (CGL) be allowed to work temporarily in Unistot’en Territory. The agreement did not constitute consent to the pipeline being built, but rather aimed to prevent further RCMP violence.
On Monday January 28, the Office of the Wet’suwet’en announced in a press release that they have requested the B.C. government issue a cease-and-desist work order for the CGL project. The release justifies the claim by citing non-compliance by CGL CGL is allegedly not upholding the conditions of its permit, nor of the interim agreement. They have failed to conduct a mandatory site-specific archaeological impact assessment, and continue to disrespect Wet’suwet’en cultural practices, according to the press release. The B.C. Environmental Assessment and Compliance Office also found CGL to be noncompliant with pre construction requirements. CGL allegedly bulldozed a trapline and tents belonging to the Gidimt’en Clan, claiming that the use of traplines are in violation of the interim agreement. Freda Huson, one of the founders of the Unistot’en Camp, maintains that the company is at fault and that “[they] were supposed to not interfere with our cultural practices on our land. [This is] the second agreement that was made and was broken.”
The RCMP have refused to enforce the agreement, and have threatened arrest for those attempting to access their traplines. Both the CGL and the RCMP have yet to provide official responses.