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Indigenous youth occupy Melanie Mark’s office in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

A group of two-spirit, queer and Indigenous youth occupied B.C. NDP Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark’s East Vancouver constituency office on Friday.

The group said the occupation of the office at East 1st Avenue and Commercial Drive was in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their dispute over the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.

The group said it would not leave until Mark granted them a meeting.

Mark, who has Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway ancestry, was the first First Nations woman elected in B.C.’s legislature, and the first First Nations woman to serve in cabinet in B.C.

“We have dedicated our time to stay here until she agrees to have a meeting with us. We are concerned for our Wet’suwet’en relatives lives; they were recently removed from their land at gunpoint,” one of the youth told Global News.

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