Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa (ISO) extends our full solidarity and support to the Wet’suwet’en people, who are resisting incursions of pipeline companies onto their territory. Working and organizing from unceded Algonquin territory, we recognize the ongoing colonization and genocide that Indigenous peoples are experiencing across “Canada” and work to support Indigenous struggles for justice and decolonization.
The Wet’suwet’en nation has been defending their sovereign territories against Coastal Gaslink’s proposed 670-km liquified natural gas pipeline. CGL continues to carry out its plans despite not having free, prior and informed consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. The BC provincial and the federal governments, CGL and the RCMP repeatedly violate Anuk‘nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) and the Wet’suwet’en nation’s right to govern their own land.
See below for ways you can support the Wet’suwet’en and sign onto this solidarity statement!
In January of 2019, the RCMP raided the Gidimt’en Access Point, which the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en had set up to block CGL to their territories. In advance of this raid, RCMP commanders authorized the use of “lethal oversight” and told officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want”.
One year later, on December 31, 2019, the BC Supreme Court granted an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en nation. Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs rejected the injunction and issued an eviction notice to the Coastal Gaslink (CGL) pipeline company from Wet’suwet’en traditional territory. Despite the fact that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) delivered directives, requiring Canadian government to halt the CGL pipeline project and withdraw RCMP from their territory, the corporation and national police continue to trespass.
In recent days, the RCMP has increased equipment and personnel presence, conducting fly-overs, drone surveillance, and patrols. They have established an “exclusion zone”, blocking roads into Wet’suwet’en and denying entry to Wet’suwet’en people, food, fuel and media. There are reports that the RCMP are demanding identification, controlling access, and plan to detain all individuals who leave the territory. This colonial violence and corporate greed – as well as the violation of the federal and BC governments’ obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the violation of the Charter right of freedom of the press – are unequivocally unacceptable.
We are in full support of the demands of the Wet’suwet’en nation, as articulated by its Hereditary Chiefs:
- That the province cease construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project and suspend permits.
- That the UNDRIP and the Wet’suwet’en right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) be respected by the state and the RCMP.
- That the RCMP and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the most recent letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimiation’s (CERD) request.
- That the provincial and federal governments, the RCMP and private industry employed by CGL respect Wet’suwet’en laws and governance system, and refrain from using any force to access Wet’suwet’en lands or remove Wet’suwet’en people.
We reaffirm our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and will continue to work to mobilize in support of their struggle.
Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa
On unceded Algonquin territory
Note to groups: You are encouraged to publish your own solidarity statements but if you can’t, feel free to email us at email@example.com if your organization would like to sign on to our solidarity statement and we will add its name here. Thanks!
More ways you can support the Wet’suwet’en nation: http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/
Call the prime minister’s office and leave a message at 613-992-4211 (Parliamentary office) and/or at 514-277-6020 (Montreal constituency office), and call the BC Premier, John Horgan, at (250) 387-1715 (Parliamentary office) and/or at (250) 391-2801 (Victoria constituency office).
Send an email to the prime minister, the BC premier, the public safety minister, the minister of crown-Indigenous relations, minister of natural resources, minister of environment and climate change, the minister of justice, the minister of Indigenous services, and your MP: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill.Blair@parl.gc.ca; email@example.com; Seamus.ORegan@parl.gc.ca; Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca; David.Lametti@parl.gc.ca; Marc.Miller@parl.gc.ca; find your MP’s email address at https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en
Email template and petition at https://indigenoussolidarityottawa.wordpress.com/2020/01/07/online-wetsuweten-action/
Image: Hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en Nation. Art: Christi Belcourt