The Wet’suwet’en movement has come to Bruce County as the Youth of Saugeen First Nation (SON) held a mini-protest in support of those in the British Columbia territory whose Hereditary Chiefs want the RCMP to leave their traditional lands.
The Chiefs are also against the 190 kilometres of Coastal Gas pipeline that is set to run through their traditional territory. The chiefs say the pipeline cannot proceed without their consent, despite several Indigenous band councils who see the pipeline as an economic and employment boost.
The quarrel has sparked solidarity protests across the country, leading to blockades on railway tracks and other demonstrations, including Saugeen First Nation.
Approximately 30 SON residents held signs and marched in support on Friday, February 21st in the protest that was organized by teenager Shelby Solomon.
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David Beverly-Foster, who grew up in Chesley and took Environmental and Resource Studies at university, also spoke of the time that he had spent at the Wet’Suwet’en territory.
“I spent a month at Wet’Suwet’en and it was a very militant time,” he said.
According to Beverly-Foster, when the RCMP went in and arrested people, he and friends organized rallies but did not have the authority to create a blockade. “We organized a rally in Owen Sound today and are happy to be here with Saugeen First Nation. If you want to do a blockade, hint hint, we would be happy to stand with you.”