Unist’ot’en 6th Annual Action Camp Report and Pacific Trails Pipeline Update
July 15, 2015 – Last week we hosted successfully our 6th annual Action Camp. This year we had participants with wide and diverse backgrounds gathered to learn and conduct workshops on a variety of topics, continue the construction of our Healing Lodge, and strengthen relationships between the closely intersected work we are all engaged in.
This year we are proud to say that most of the Unist’ot’en chiefs were present and were glad to see the continuing development of our community. They said they looked forward to the day when we could see past our current struggles with pipeline companies and just live off the land as our ancestors did.
On July 13th, exactly the day that action camp participants were journeying back to their various homes, we received new information that Chevron would be starting to send work crews out for their Pacific Trails Pipeline as early as July 13th.
Today we did not see pipeline workers, but we did receive a visit from the local RCMP detachment. Two officers attempted to cross the bridge without doing protocol but were blocked by some of our supporters who held the line.
Luckily, Freda Huson, our spokesperson was quick onto the scene and was able to simultaneously de-escalate the situation and guide the officers back to the other side of the bridge. They claimed the purpose of their visit was to introduce themselves and address concerns raised to their superior. Their words about being ‘neutral’ and intention to “keep the peace” proved to be hollow as he stated “we are here to ensure the work crews can do their work safely.”
We do not know exactly what will transpire in the coming days, weeks, and months. What we do know is that Chevron has declared it’s intention to conduct environmental field studies, centreline surveying, road upgrading, and right of way clearing on the portion of the Pacific Trails Pipeline that proposes to pass through our territory.
As Unist’ot’en people, along with our supporters, we will continue to stand against Chevron by living on our lands and asserting the decision we made as a clan. We will not allow a company that has devastated our Mother Earth in places such as the Amazon Rainforest and the Niger Delta to do the same here. At the same time we are considering the impacts of the communities where Chevron wants to frack, and the Coastal Communities who will bear the burden of impact from giant LNG tankers traversing treacherous waterways.
We will protect our critical infrastructure of water, salmon, berries and medicines from destruction by industries that pollute.