Bishop leads march to legislature in support of Wet'suwet'en

About 50 people led by Anglican Bishop Logan McMenamie took a noon-hour walk from Christ Church Cathedral to the legislature Wednesday, in support of those demonstrating in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

Walkers, including other clergy, stuck to crosswalks and sidewalks along the way.

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“We honour the Indigenous youth who were at the legislature and who have now gone,” McMenamie said.

He said Wednesday’s walk went on even in the protesters’ absence “because I think at least our voices will continue to be heard and we’re building up on what they’ve done.”

McMenamie said although some people might have been at the legislature Tuesday to cause trouble, the message of the protest should not be lost.

“We don’t want to tar them with what happened with a few individuals, the same way we as a church don’t want to be tarred by a few individuals who do not always represent what we represent.”

McMenamie said Victoria police deserve credit for their response to Tuesday’s situation.

“I think they handled a very difficult situation really, really well.”

He said the walk to the legislature was a “continuation of a sacred journey” on the road of truth telling, healing and reconciliation, and called on the provincial government to sit down with all of the chiefs involved in the pipeline issue.

The RCMP should be removed from Wet’suwet’en territory, he added.

McMenamie has made efforts to support reconciliation in the past, including a 480-kilometre walk in 2016 from Alert Bay to Victoria during which he asked Indigenous leaders for permission to continue living and working on their traditional lands.

Once at the legislature, members held a brief session with prayers and readings.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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