RCMP arrive at the Gitdumden checkpoint. (Unist’ot’en Facebook photo)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University student association backs pipeline protesters

Indigenous students from Langley, Cloverdale, Surrey and Richmond campuses to meet

  • Jan. 12, 2019 11:05 a.m.

Watching pipeline protesters surrender to police in northern B.C. was an emotional experience for Kwantlen Student Association president Joseph Thorpe.

“I started crying when I saw it for the first time,” said Thorpe, who is Métis and of Cree ancestry.

“It was sad that these people [have been] forced to defend themselves.”

Thorpe told Black Press he was watching a television news report that showed people giving themselves up Monday when officers arrived at the blockade that was preventing access to a pipeline to arrest 14 for allegedly violating a court order to stay away from the work sites.

Protesters had set up two anti-pipeline camps southwest of Smithers to block the project being built by TransCanada subsidiary Coastal GasLink to carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protest

A statement supporting the protest was issued Friday by the Kwantlen Student Association, which represents over 20,000 people enrolled at Kwantlen Polytechnic University campuses in Langley, Cloverdale, Surrey and Richmond.

It was signed by Thorpe and indigenous student representative Sarah Strachan, who is Tet’lit Gwich’in and a member of the Gwich’in First Nation.

“We are disappointed in Canada’s actions,” they said.

“The government needs to take a hard look at their efforts of reconciliation and how this current action could be detrimental to the relationship Indigenous peoples have with Canada. “

“Canada has no claim to the land in British Columbia, as there was no treaty or agreement signed,” the statement said, and the arrests are “unjust.”

Thorpe said there are plans for a meeting of indigenous students from the various Kwantlen locations, to talk about the protest and plan future action.

An RCMP statement about the arrests at the Gitdumt’en checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road said police acted because they realized the matter couldn’t be resolved.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown Vancouver and packed Victory Square on Tuesday in solidarity with the pipeline blockade.

It was one of dozens held across Canada and the United States. It remained peaceful, with dozens of police officers directing marchers and holding back traffic.

READ MORE: ‘Welcome to battleground B.C.’: Hundreds rally against LNG pipeline

Indigenous band councils along the route have approve the project, but some hereditary chiefs remain opposed.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said all five Wet’suwet’en clans, including the Gidimt’en, oppose the construction of oil and gas pipelines in their territory.

In December, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered the removal of any obstructions interfering with the Coastal GasLink project.

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read