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Smithers, BC, August 24, 2010: The Enbridge Pipeline Gateway representatives Michelle Perret and Kevin Brown came into Smithers Town Council to provide an update on the Michigan Rupture, as well as an update on the progress for their plans to construct the proposed Enbridge Gateway Pipeline. The pair was was forced a quick exit from the public meeting following their presentation.
As they made their way to the presenter's area, they were greeted with members of a Wet'suwet'en group singing a Wet'suwet'en War Song. Despite opposition from the Mayor, the singers continued until the Enbridge presenters were seated. The Enbridge representatives began their presentation by minimizing the recent Michigan pipeline spill and explained their plans regarding mitigation measures Enbridge will be employing for their proposed Gateway Pipeline project. Many people in the crowd of about 70 people sat and stood in disbelief and disgust as Enbridge's numbers did not match the numbers which were widely publicized on national news coverages on the recent spill. The floor was then open for questions. Two questions from town council came forward related to the measures Enbridge is taking in their new plans for their Gateway project, which were answered with standardizedand rehearsed replies with absolutely no substance.
As the Enbridge representatives were being thanked by the Mayor for coming, the Likhts’amisyu hereditary chiefs Hagwilakw and Toghestiy stood up and took the floor. They began to explain the Likhts'amisyu opposition to the proposed project and the Wet'suwet'en Jurisdiction and Authority over their unceded lands.
Toghestiy made the following statement: “We cannot be clearer about our position, there will NO PIPELINES like Enbridge, the KSL Looping Project, Kinder Morgan, or Pembina pipelines going through our territories! Enbridge ignored our last statement at the Hudson’s Bay Lodge (on December 9, 2009) where they were warned not to trespass onto Wet’suwet’en territories ever again. Because of your return, we are issuing each of you an eagle feather for trespass. This is the last warning that you will receive. If you are caught trespassing with plans to come onto our territories again, you will be dealt with according to Likhts’amisyu Law. Municipalities, Provincial Governments, and Federal Governments have no jurisdiction or authority over our unceded lands. The jurisdiction and authority belong to the title holders of the Wet’suwet’en House Groups and Clan Groups and nobody else.”. A crowd of 30 Wet’suwet’en people holding banners and signs and about 20 supporters (some dressed in hazmat suits) applauded.
When questioned by media after the presentation about what Likhts’amisyu Law will be evoked, Toghestiy answered, “Our Likhts’amisyu elders and hereditary chiefs will convene and decide how we will deal with this if it is ignored again. For now, Enbridge had just better abide to Wet’suwet’en Law.”
Hagwilakw stated, “We as humans on this earth are fragile and the environment that we know and love is fragile. We cannot risk the destruction and contamination of this eco-system. When I stated that 'We cannot be bought,' I truly feel that people should unite, and not be bought out by these industry giants. We are truly blessed with the environment that we have. It must not be looked at as a resource. The bottom line is, consultation is not about 'telling' us your plans. Say NO to Enbridge and other forces who threaten our ecosystems.”