'We stand for our treaties': Protesters take to Saskatoon streets at rush hour in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en
Protest in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who are opposing a pipeline on their land
Rush hour traffic was reduced to a crawl in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday evening as supporters of the Wet'suwet'en people of B.C. took to the streets.
About 100 people formed a circle at the intersection of Idylwyld Drive and 22nd Street, where signs of support were on display and the sound of drums filled the air.
"We don't agree with what's happening, and we stand for the environment and we stand for our treaties," said Crystal Johnstone, who carried signs in support of the protest.
"This isn't right what they're doing, pushing people off of their land."
The traffic stoppage was intended to show support for the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose a Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which is planned for construction on their traditional territory.
Twenty elected First Nations band councils along the pipeline route have signed benefit agreements with Coastal GasLink. The pipeline was also approved by the B.C. government. But the hereditary clan chiefs, who are leaders under the traditional form of governance, say the project has no authority without their consent.
Thursday's rally in Saskatoon was one of several demonstrations across the country this week, which have included blockades, sit-ins or rallies as signs of support.
With files from Chelsea Laskowski