A third protest was held in Williams Lake in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
Gathered in front of the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment with a small group of supporters Friday afternoon was local resident Margaret-Anne Enders.
She said people are fearing for their jobs and their livelihoods and that she believes that looking to the fossil fuel industry to solve that problem has not served us well.
“We’ve known for more than 20 years that fossil fuels aren’t good so if we’d started that transition process 20 years ago we’d be in a much different place and so now things are even worse,” Enders said. “I can’t speak to what individual Indigenous nations want for their land and people but I know that they want to get out of poverty and I hope that as a country we can look and say we’ve got ways that we could think out of the box to find people jobs. Maybe in the renewable energy sector or whatever, but to just see things in a different way and stop posing it as either oil or poverty.”
Calling posts on social media alarming Enders added she is seeing an increasing level of division, hatred, and lack of safety for Indigenous people.
She said she would like to see the government take strong action to say that reconciliation is important and how they do it is important.
“It involves listening, it involves really taking into account our history, it involves telling Canadians that we are all responsible for our history and that we all have to make a difference in making a more equitable society,” Enders said. “I hope that the government takes strong leadership on that which we haven’t seen. What we’ve seen is betrayal for generations.”
Despite liaison Nathan Cullen reporting the two days of talks between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and senior government officials productive, Enders said looking at our history and the number of broken promises that she feels cautious.
“We’re all just local people who really care about our community, and we care about the people in our community, and we care about the direction that our country is headed in,” Enders said. “Individuals can speak for themselves but nobody here is brought in from elsewhere to protest and nobody here is getting any money.”
It appears that negotiations will continue sometime Saturday in Smithers between the federal government, B.C., and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.