Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders head to trial in Smithers

A bearded man with greying hair sits in front of a yellow coloured wall. He is wearing a light brown winter coat.
Prosecutors allege Chief Dtsa'hyl of the Wet’suwet’en, removed batteries from heavy equipment at a CGL worksite on his territory, in protest of the project. Photo: Gidimt’en Checkpoint/ Facebook
Daniel Mesec - CICK - SmithersBC | 16-11-2023
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

As Coastal GasLink announces they have completed installation of their gas pipeline from Northeast B.C. to the LNG Canada site in Kitimat, courts in Smithers heard cases against Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders. 

Prosecutors allege Chief Dtsa'hyl of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, removed batteries from heavy equipment to disable them on his territory, in protest of the project. Several other clan members and supporters are accused of violating a court injunction during construction of the CGL pipeline. These cases have been dragging through the court system, for nearly two years, and several cases are not likely to be resolved until 2024. 

Molly Wickham, also know as Slaydo, said these trials have been going on far too long, over many years, bringing undue stress and uncertainty for many.

"My trial, Shailen Samson's trial and Corey Jocko's trial will begin in January, including the abusive process," Wickham said. "I think it's very frustrating, and it's one of those cases. And I've been thinking about it a lot because we don't want to participate in this system that, in my view, is stacked against us."

All defendants were arrested at various times over the past three years.

The RCMP’s CIRG (Community-Industry Response) division, continues to patrol the CGL pipeline route, and arrest Gidimt'en Camp supporters, the latest being in March of this year. Earlier this year, the RCMP reiterated, “our actions and those of the individuals arrested are subject to a judicial process that we must respect,” according to the RCMP.

Listen to the full episode below.