Kim Stanton speaks to CBC, Newstalk 1010, and ELMNT FM about the Wet’suwet’en situation
Kim Stanton explains some of the background and legal issues relevant to the Wet’suwet’en situation to CBC, Newstalk 1010, and ELMNT FM radio
Kim Stanton has been speaking to various media organizations about the Wet’suwet’en situation in an effort to provide some history and context to the dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.
In an interview with ELMNT FM radio, Kim discussed the history and legal issues associated with the Wet’suwet’en, the protests, and the pipeline project.
Kim also spoke to Newstalk 1010 about the the history and legal issues associated with the Wet’suwet’en situation. Listen to the interview here.
CBC also spoke to Kim Stanton and others in a story explaining why some Wet’suwet’en people support the Coastal GasLink pipeline project, while other do not.
The CBC story notes that opposition to the pipeline is being mounted by the majority of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. They maintain that, although Coastal GasLink has signed community and project agreements with the nation’s band councils, the pipeline project needs their authorization to proceed.
As Kim explains:
“[The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs] are following [Wet’suwet’en law which predates colonization and the Indian Act and] which says to them that they need to protect the lands with which they have a sacred connection, which is a much larger piece of territories than the band chiefs are responsible for,” said Kim Stanton, a Toronto-based lawyer who practices Aboriginal law.
The band councils “are responsible for only the territory within their individual reserves, which were created through the Indian Act.”
Stanton, the lawyer, said bands are forced to make very difficult choices about whether to make deals with resource extraction companies. Indian Act bands have been chronically underfunded and under-resourced, she said.
“I think you can say that people are trying their best to do what they can for their people under very difficult circumstances. And when a resource extraction company comes along and says, ‘Look, we have all of this money for you,’ they are loath not to take it.”
“They’re in between a rock and a hard place. I don’t think it’s a measure of unqualified support.”