Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs agree to seven days of discussions with B.C. government

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      Neither the B.C. NDP government nor a group of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs have conceded any ground in their dispute over the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline.

      But today, eight hereditary chiefs issued a statement that they have agreed to enter into seven days of discussions with the province to try to de-escalate an ongoing conflict over the project.

      The 670-kilometre pipeline is key part of a $40-billion infrastructure development that includes a liquefied natural gas plant near Kitimat. 

      "The discussion table will be known as 'Wiggus', the Wet'suwet'en word for respect," the hereditary chiefs stated. "In the landmark Supreme Court decision of Delgamuukw Gisday'wa Wiggus is was defined as 'respect for all living beings, starting with oneself'."

      Chief Madeek, Chief Gisday'wa, Chief Woos, Chief Hagwilnegh, Chief Tsa'ghots, Chief Na'Moks, Chief Lay'oh, and Chief Kloum Khun all pledged to maintain their commitment to peace and to pursue all avenues available to achieve a peaceful resolution.

      The announcement came after Premier John Horgan appointed former Skeena–Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen as liaison to the hereditary chiefs.

      The premier's office issued a statement saying it welcomes the decision by the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs to join the province at a Wiggus/Respect table.

      Normally, statements from the premier's office are attributed to Horgan but in this instance, his name did not appear anywhere on it.