Art by Gord Hill, Kwakwaka’wakw
Statement from Unist’ot’en Camp, Jan. 9, 2019
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have by absolutely no means agreed to let the Coastal GasLink pipeline tear through our traditional territories.
On January 7th at the Gidumt’en access point, the RCMP used excessive and brutal force. We expected a large response, we did not expect a military level invasion where our unarmed women and elders were faced with automatic weapons and bulldozers.
While the chiefs have a responsibility to protect the land, they also have a duty to protect our land defenders. Our people faced an incredible risk of injury or death and that is not a risk we are willing to take for an interim injunction. The agreement we made allows Coastal GasLink to temporarily work behind the Unist’ot’en gate. This will continue to be a waste of their time and resources as they will not be building a pipeline in our traditional territory.
This injunction was against Warner Naziel, Freda Huson, and Jane and John Doe as individuals. Our efforts over the past month made the RCMP, Coastal GasLink, and the colonial governments recognize that this is not an issue of individual “protestors” but rather an issue of our house chiefs’ jurisdiction to make decisions on our own lands. We have fought for many years to make this point by politely telling it like it is. Now, with the world watching, with our voices reverberating around the globe, we have turned the tables.
There can be no question now that this is an issue of Wet’suwet’en Rights and Title. We have demonstrated that this fight is about more than a pipeline; it is about the right of Indigenous peoples around the world to exercise Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.
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.
We paved the way with the Delgamuuk’w court case and the time has come for Delgamuuk’w II. We have never had the financial resources to challenge the colonial court system, due to the enormous price tag of an Aboriginal title case.
Who will stand with us to make sure this pipeline does not go through?
Who will support our work to reclaim our territories and assert our right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent?
Who will insist that Indigenous peoples have the right to say NO to projects that inflict violence on our people and territories?
WAYS TO SUPPORT:
We are are humbled by the outpouring of solidarity and support for our Wet’suwet’en people. We expect RCMP aggression at any time. We are still fundraising for our legal battle in the colonial courts. Please donate.
⭐ DONATE to Unist’ot’en Camp Legal Fund
⭐ DONATE to Gidimt’en Access Point
⭐ COME TO CAMP: Supporters in the local area wanting to do something should head to KM 27 now. Meet at the junction of Morice River Road and Morice West where people are gathering to plan additional responses to this incursion.
⭐ HOST A SOLIDARITY EVENT: See the International Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en event page. For guiding principals on how to support, and a fact sheet on the Gidimt’en Access Point, visit this link . We are conducting peaceful actions as sovereign peoples on our territories, and ask that all actions taken in solidarity are conducted peacefully and according to the traditional laws of other Indigenous Nations. Forcible trespass onto Wet’suwet’en territories and the removal of Indigenous peoples from their lands must be stopped. Provincial and federal governments must be confronted.
⭐ SIGN THE PLEDGE: Join thousands of organizations and individuals in signing the pledge in support of Unist’ot’en
⭐ CONTACT REPRESENTATIVES: This page has been set up so you can send an email directly to relevant Federal cabinet ministers and BC Provincial cabinet ministers calling on the RCMP and Coastal Gas Link to respect Unist’ot’en/Giltseyu-Dark House on their unceded lands.
#unistoten #wetsuwetenstrong #thetimeisnow #wetsuweten #nopipelines #notrespass #unistotencamp