Indigenous land defender sentenced to jail time over Trans Mountain pipeline protest

William George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and a guardian at the watch house near the Trans Mountain pipeline's Burnaby facility, pauses while speaking during a news conference with Indigenous leaders and politicians opposed to the expansion in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, April 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

An Indigenous man will serve time behind bars in British Columbia for his actions in protest of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Will George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation described by the term "land defender" for his activism to protect the environment, was sentenced to 28 days in jail Tuesday.

The sentence followed a breach of an injunction issued by the B.C. Supreme Court ordering those named in the order from physically obstructing or impeding access to a Trans Mountain terminal in Burnaby.

In a statement outlining the decision made at George's sentencing hearing, a group calling itself Protect the Planet, Stop TMX said George(REMOVED COMMA) is the first member of the Tsleil-Waututh nation to be convicted for resisting the pipeline "while on his own ancestral, unceded land."

The group said George, who was tried in the fall, was the only one charged despite several people having been at the site that day.

They said Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick sided with the Crown when determining her sentence. The group is critical of the court for opting against a sentence of community service and probation.