The Wet’suwet’en crisis in BC has dominated the news for the last week. It began with an RCMP crackdown on supporters of a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink liquefied natural gas pipeline through their territories. The builder of the pipeline, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Corporation), asserts that they have the right to build it, having first obtained the support of five of the six Wet’suwet’en First Nations. The sixth declined to offer their support as they, in agreement with the hereditary chiefs, state that as an Indian Act band council, they do not have authority off reserve, and that only the hereditary chiefs can determine what happens to unceded, non-reserve lands like those through which TC Energy seeks to build.
Since the crisis began, dozens of explainers have appeared in the press that try to get to the root causes, and which seem to grant legitimacy to one side or the other. Each such piece speaks with authority and certainty over the facts at play.
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