A round dance in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en blocks an intersection in Edmonton on January 22. Photo by Abdul Malik.
On January 7, 2019 militarized RCMP invaded and occupied unceded Wet’suwet’en territories to try to forcibly clear a path for a fracked gas pipeline owned by Coastal Gaslink (TransCanada), arresting 14 Indigenous land defenders. The temporary agreement that was reached has since been breached as the company has illegally destroyed traplines of two different clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
But Wet’suwet’en land defenders have been fighting to protect their land and sovereignty for decades — including the 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa court case and the Unist’ot’en Camp that has blocked pipelines and healed the land since 2009 — and they will not stop here.
Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists have been taking part in solidarity actions from coast to coast to coast, and there are many more planned. Find an upcoming event near you here, and find more ways to stand in solidarity via the Wet’suwet’en Strong Supporter Toolkit that has been released.
Billie Pierre of Nlaka’pamux Nation summed up the importance of such actions in a recent article for Media Co-op: “For the time being, the Unist’ot’en are allowing TransCanada workers to cross their bridge. But demonstrations and actions across Canada and around the world in support of the Wet’suwet’en — which has put the RCMP directly in the spotlight – continue. Without strong public support, would the RCMP have continued to block the flow of people entering Gidumt’en and Unist’ot’en? Maybe there would be no updates from Unist’ot’en, and maybe TransCanada would have had more room to bend a rule or two and do work that they haven’t received government approval to do.”
Here are some highlights from some of the solidarity events to date to get you inspired to take action:
Montreal and Ottawa in the streets on January 8th:
A big Hamilton action on January 14th:
Kent Country Chapter with allies in Sikiniktuk Mi’kma’ki, (aka “Rexton” or “Elsipogtog” January 17th:
A march took the streets in London, ON on January 19th:
Prince Albert on January 19th:
A round dance in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en blocking an intersection in Edmonton on January 22: