Mohawk ‘Land Back’ leader among those to plead guilty to criminal contempt in B.C. pipeline conflict


Five individuals charged with criminal contempt after a Coastal GasLink pipeline blockade on Wets’uwet’en conventional territory in northern B.C. in 2021 will enter guilty pleas, stated defence lawyer Stephanie Dickson in a digital look Monday in B.C. Supreme Court.

They embrace Skyler Williams, a Mohawk from the Six Nations close to Hamilton, Ont., and a outstanding Haudenosaunee spokesperson for the 1492 Land Back motion in Ontario.

Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the ‘1492 Land Back Lane’ camp, is pictured in 2020 as Haudenosaunee land defenders occupied a proposed housing subdivision in Ontario. Williams has pleaded guilty to criminal contempt over Wet’suwet’en pipeline blockades in B.C. in 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Williams was certainly one of greater than two dozen individuals arrested in an RCMP crackdown to dismantle blockades close to a pipeline camp on Wet’suwet’en conventional territory in a wilderness space a couple of thousand kilometres north of Vancouver in November 2021.

Defence lawyer Dickson instructed the courtroom a sixth particular person will even plead guilty to criminal contempt as soon as he is obtained “medical paperwork.” 

Crown prosecutor Tyler Bauman instructed the courtroom the person had made allegations “about one thing that occurred throughout his arrest.”

More than a dozen others arrested on the blockades, together with Wet’suwet’en leader Sleydo,’ also called Molly Wickham, have elected to stand trial on criminal contempt prices.

Dickson instructed the courtroom she is planning to file an utility asserting an “abusive course of” and cumulative breaches of the Canadian Charter in advance of the trial. 

She stated the appliance can be offered to the courtroom as soon as hereditary chiefs log off on it. 

Although Coastal GasLink signed profit agreements with 20 elected band councils alongside the pipeline route in 2018, a number of Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders say band councils wouldn’t have authority over conventional territories past reserve boundaries.

Some hereditary chiefs and their allies, who name themselves land defenders and water protectors, need to cease Coastal GasLink’s pipeline by way of their conventional territories.

The 670-kilometre pipeline will deliver hydraulically fractured gasoline from northeastern B.C. to an LNG export facility in Kitimat, on BC’s North Coast. 

Graffiti spray-painted on {an electrical} field close to Prince George metropolis corridor in 2022 in help of Wet’suwet’en opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. (CBC/Betsy Trumpener)

Coastal GasLink stated Wet’suwet’en blockades in November 2021 left 500 employees stranded in a pipeline camp, the place meals, water, and different provides had been working low. 

In B.C. Supreme Court in April, Coastal GasLink’s lawyer, Kevin O’Callaghan, stated the protesters had wilfully breached a courtroom order to keep away from the pipeline development, understanding their public defiance would obtain widespread public consideration. 

“There has been in depth use of mainstream media and social media to entice consideration to the actions of the protesters,” Justice Marguerite Church famous in April, saying a collection of blockades and protest actions had broken roads and bridges close to the pipeline and appeared to be “escalating.”


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