Wet’suwet’en protesters who are fighting a multi-billion dollar pipeline going through their land claim that the company behind the project have asked two arrested protesters to prove they’re actually Indigenous.
According to a statement released by Wet’suwet’en, Coastal GasLink has asked Molly Wickham to provide documentation to prove she is Wet’suwet’en.
They are also “seeking conditions that would bar her from returning to her home on Wet’suwet’en Yintah,” where she lives with her husband and three children.
Their statement also claims the gas company challenged Chief Woos’s daughter Jocelyn Alec’s status as a Wet’suwet’en person because she has Indian Act status with her mother’s First Nation, which does not determine the identity or belonging to a community.
Wickham and Alec were among many arrested last week after the RCMP cleared road barricades on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The remote roads are located near the town of Houston, British Columbia, approximately 1,000 km northwest of Vancouver.
The fight against the pipeline has been going on for many years, with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and allies on the front lines trying to block the multi-billion dollar project.
The pipeline was initially approved by Wet’suwet’en elected officials, not the hereditary chiefs. Many don’t see the elected officials as the rightful leaders to make these decisions.