Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya says “The Dene nation supports the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and their call for RCMP to leave their traditional territory.”
In a press conference yesterday, Chief Yakeleya told reporters that “Aboriginal people can, if they really want to, bring Canada to a standstill,” as demonstrators across the country have joined the blockades in support of the hereditary chiefs and the pipeline dispute in northwestern British Columbia.
The blockades have halted most freight and passenger rail services in Canada creating food and fuel shortages in Eastern Canada.
Chief Yakeleya says, “Welcome to our world” to the people of Canada who are affected by the rail blockades. Northerners commonly experience the high cost of food and shortages of services.
“When all the Indigenous people get together, it brings Canada’s economy to its knees,” Chief Yakeleya said. “Let the RCMP leave, let our people deal with it.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a government news release that finding a solution to the situation will not be “simple.”
“On all sides, people are upset and frustrated. I get it,” Trudeau said. “It’s understandable because this is about things that matter: rights and livelihoods, the rule of law and our democracy.”
CKLB Radio asked Chief Yakeleya about the government’s decision to send in the RCMP to the traditional territory.
“They call up the police force. Shame on them. Shame on them. Why are they doing that to the first original people of Canada?” Chief Yakeleya said.