A unifying rally was held at Barrie City Hall Saturday to show support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia over the approved $6.6-billion, 670-kilometre pipeline that will run through their land.
The Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en event included approximately 50 supporters who came with signs and flags in the cold weather to say they stood with the First Nations band.
Several people have been arrested in northern B.C. as demonstrations and protests have flared up regarding the proposed pipeline that will run through Wet’suwet’en Nation land. The RCMP began removing people over the last few days to enforce a court injunction against the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s hereditary chiefs and anyone who tries to halt the pipeline.
Solidarity With Wet'suwet'en organizer Brandon Rheal Amyot said that today was to send a message that Canada needs to uphold Indigenous rights.
“We stand against the actions of the RCMP who is violently making their way into territories that are unceded,” said Amyot. “We’re here today show solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Nation in what we call British Columbia.”
Amyot said that it was also very important for people outside of Wet'suwet'en Nation to stand up because the media in that area are being denied the right to report, and cited
“We saw from the Canadian Association of Journalists that media are being prohibited from entering further into the territory to do investigative journalism and report on what is happening on the ground.”
“There is a lack of information with the non-Indigenous populous in Canada so by holding these events we can raise awareness.’
Sarah Cunnigham (Rama First Nations) stood on Collier Street, in front of city hall, with signs of support. She told BarrieToday why it was important to be at the solidarity rally, even if Wet’suwet’en Nation is 4,000 kilometres away.
“It’s the water, it’s the land, it’s going to affect us all in our future generations,” said Cunningham. “We have to think seven generations ahead. Anyone who thinks this is a west coast issue needs to learn their waterways.”