A peaceful ceremony and walk in support of the Wet’suwet’en blockade is planned to take place in Orillia tomorrow (Sat, Feb 22) afternoon.
Amanda Dale, a spokesperson for the ceremony, says it will be in response to continuing human rights violations occurring in BC.
“There is a level of civil disobedience involved, but we prefer to work cooperatively and negotiate, so we’ve negotiated with the OPP, (Orillia) Roads and the Fire department to make this a peaceful ceremony,” she says.
The Walk/Ceremony gets underway at 3 pm and aims to wrap up before 5 out of respect for the Coldest Night of the Year Walk planned in Orillia for 5:15 pm.
There’s also a Human Trafficking Awareness Walk happening in Orillia tomorrow and the ceremony’s organizers plan to work together with that walk too.
“(At 3) we’ll be at Mississauga Road and West Street South then walking around that block: Down to Andrews, then Andrews to Colbourne then Colbourne to West and back up to Mississauga,” says Dale.
Organizers expect at least 50 pus people to show up.
More from Dale: (Above audio)
Tomorrow’s ceremony is being held in partnership between the Anishinaabe, Ojibway, Rama Orillia Whata, the Metis and Six Nations peoples, all coming together to support the Wet’suwet’en people.
Dale says that although the RCMP have left the exclusion zone, they are still in the territory.
“They are still harassing indigenous people (there),” she says.
She draws attention to human rights violations raised by residents of Wet’suwet’en territory who also say they have experienced a history of poor treatment by the RCMP.
Prevention from accessing their own territory, including civic residences, while non-Wet’suwet’en people can access their homes to go ice fishing and harvest firewood are amongst the concerns as well as claimed unlawful arrests and stop checks continuing.
Critics also say the RCMP claims they have met the conditions of the Wet’suwet’en but that they have not met directly with hereditary chiefs.
The B.C Civil Liberties Association, the country’s oldest human rights organisation, stands in full support of the Wet’suwet’en.
(Photo via Amanda Dale)