On January 7, 2019 militarized RCMP invaded and occupied unceded Wet’suwet’en territories and faced children and elders with heavy assault rifles following a court injunction granted to Coastal Gaslink (TransCanada). They were trying to forcibly clear a path for a fracked gas pipeline. Fourteen land defenders were arrested, including Gitdumt’en Clan spokesperson Molly Wickham.
Council of Canadians supporters and chapters activists have been taking part in ongoing solidarity actions with Wet’suwet’en, joining the call “that the provincial and federal government uphold their responsibilities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law).” We stand in solidarity with these land defenders, who have been fighting to protect their land and sovereignty for decades – from the 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa court case to the Unist’ot’en Camp that has blocked pipelines and healed the land since 2009.
As stated on the Unist’ot’en Camp Facebook page, “Wet’suwet’en House Chiefs have full jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en territory and have not given free, prior and informed consent to Coastal Gaslink (TransCanada) to do work on Wet’suwet’en lands.”
The Wet’suwet’en have affirmed their position to not allow oil and gas export pipelines in Wet’suwet’en Yintah (traditional lands). The Gidimt’en Access Point was established as a checkpoint “where people are required to present themselves, respectfully, to spokespeople at the site.”
Coastal GasLink wants access to the area to build a pipeline for fracked gas as part of a $40 billion liquified natural gas project that includes the LNG Canada processing plant in Kitimat, British Columbia. LNG Canada announced it was going ahead with the plant project last October.
As of January 10, a temporary agreement for some work on the project to occur has been reached but as stated on the Unist’ot’en camp website efforts to stop the pipeline are still in full force. “We have the power to tell the governments of the world that enough is enough, rather than being plowed down by force today or tomorrow. We will use our voice to continue this battle by asserting our Rights and Title. This week, the Canadian state laid siege to our land behind the smokescreen of ‘reconciliation.’ We see through their attempts to further colonial violence and remove us from our territories. We remain undeterred, unafraid, and unceded. This fight is far from over.” Read more about ways you can take action.
The Council of Canadians has made a donation to the Unist’ot’en camp legal fund as well as a donation to help cover the travel costs of youth to join the camp.
We continue to stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.