Letter to Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs

February 19, 2020

Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs
c/o Office of the Wet'suwet'en
3873 – 1st Avenue
Smithers, BC  V0J 2N1


Dear Hereditary Chiefs,

In response to repeated public and personal commitments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan and our own letters of February 16, 2020 , we continue to offer our commitment of a process based upon trust and mutual respect to address the urgent issues of concern to you as Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation. We wrote to you offering an urgent meeting with us, and were willing to meet in Smithers if that was agreeable to you. In an effort to exemplify our commitment, both of us travelled to Victoria on Monday, February 17, 2020, in order to allow short-notice travel to Smithers if that was your reply, considering the urgency of the situation. While we were not able to meet in person then, we have continued the dialogue with multiple conversations with some of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs in order to seek clarity and a path forward. That was an important step forward, and we thank you for coming to the discussion with a likewise commitment for a peaceful resolution.

We understand that you have urgent issues to resolve and require dedicated attention from both levels of government to work with you in charting a peaceful path forward. We are more than willing to find any mutually acceptable process with you and the Wet'suwet'en Nation to sit down and address the urgent and longer term issues at hand.

In light of that, we both commit to be in Smithers as early as Thursday, February 20, 2020 and will be available to meet with any of the Hereditary Chiefs to discuss these matters of great concern to the Wet'suwet'en Nation. We understand that some of the Hereditary Chiefs may not be available, and we commit to coming back again when they are. We look forward to continuing the discussion in person to achieve our shared goal of safe resolution of the current impasse.

Sincerely,

Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Government of Canada

Hon. Scott Fraser, MLA
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Government of British Columbia

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