Confusion sparks between Indigenous affairs ministers and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

On Saturday, a historic meeting took place in Kahnawake, Que., as hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation met with Iroquois leaders and the leadership of Mohawk Council of Kahnawake to discuss their renewed friendship and the situations taking place in British Columbia.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Woos told the media on Saturday he hadn’t heard from the Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller since Friday’s press conference.

On Friday, hereditary chiefs repeated the conditions that must be met before talks can go deeper following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press conference where he asked for the end of Canada-wide blockades.

“There was no phone call at all from Marc Miller,”  Woos said Saturday following discussions with Kahnawake chiefs. “It seems to me that since Mr. Trudeau has made his announcement, the communication has ceased.”

The conditions they’re requesting are that: the RCMP remove their remote detachment in northern B.C.; the RCMP stop patrols; and Coastal Gaslink halt work on their land.

Staff from the minister’s office told Global News on Sunday that Miller has been in contact with the hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en, since Trudeau’s call for laws to be obeyed.

“The Minister has reached out after the press conference on Friday and is returning all communications from Chiefs and other representatives,” a spokesperson for the Minister said.  “We remain committed to meeting and pursuing an open dialogue.”

Chief Na’Moks, one of the five hereditary clan chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in opposition to the pipeline, told Global News Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett and the chiefs were on the phone together right before Trudeau started speaking Friday.

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