Wet’suwet’en matriarchs get long-awaited seats at table with hereditary chiefs, ministers

After years spent fighting for their voices to be heard in the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute, Wet’suwet’en matriarchs and chiefs both for and against the project got to sit down with hereditary chiefs and government ministers at Thursday’s historic meeting.

The women gained their seats after complaining earlier that they were being locked out of the discussions, with the anger among both sides turning towards each other outside the meeting hall.

But by the time all the parties walked back outside at the end of the “positive” talks Thursday evening, that anger had largely been replaced by optimism and gratitude.

“There’s many of us who have voices and we deserve for them to hear our voices too,” said Bonnie George, who got emotional as she talked about finally getting a seat at the table.

“This is our first step towards reconciliation, and it just makes my heart feel good as a Wet’suwet’en matriarch on something that we’ve been working on for a long, long time.”

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