Unist'ot'en camp

329 posts / 0 new
Last post
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from 2011

Canfor loses injunction against Wet’suwet’en for blockade of Redtop

Canfor has lost their application for an injunction against a family for their blockade of a property that the company held for timber harvesting.

The company filed for the injunction against the family which belong to the Wet’suwet’en’s Ginehklaiyex House.

In response to the injunction, House chiefs Hagwilneghl (Ron Mitchell) and Kaleh (Mabel Crich) filed for an injunction against Canfor to prevent them from engaging in timber harvesting and any other activities in an area call Redtop.

Since 2009, access to Redtop, part of the Morice Timber Supply Area, has been blockaded.

At the heart of the matter is a dispute between aboriginal title and forestry resource management. The injunctions were sought as a short term remedy while those matters press on.

The Redtop area includes culturally sensitive areas which are referred to as Ilh K’il Bin.

The Honourable Madam Justice Janice Dillon made the ruling on May 25. In her conclusion she dismissed Canfor’s application while allowing the injunction filed by the chiefs.

quote:

Meanwhile the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (OW) and the family are hailing the ruling as a victory.

David de Wit, the natural resource manager with the OW, was named the designated spokesperson for the Crich and spoke on the ruling.

“I think we’re all pretty excited and feel like we had a big accomplishment here as Canfor is one of the largest forest companies in B.C.,” said de Wit. “I think that’s a great step for the Wet’suwet’en in terms of having their traditional decision making authorities recognized by a Supreme Court judge.”

In the Justice’s ruling, Dillon said that “It is the relationship to particular lands that defines the social structure of Wet’suwet’en society, that places the land as the foundation of cultural identity, and that determines the structure of governance.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Land protectors took to the streets of Vancouver again today - blocking access to the Port of Vancouver for more than six hours. The action is part of ongoing protests to have the court injunction against We'tsuwet'en sovereignty lifted.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What does the RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory mean?

quote:

The BC Liberal, BC NDP and federal governments all courted the LNG Canada project, offering tax breaks, cheap electricity, tariff exemptions and other incentives to convince the consortium to build in B.C. Both Christy Clark and Premier John Horgan celebrated LNG Canada’s final investment decision last fall, calling it a big win for the province.

However, without a four foot diameter (122cm) pipeline feeding fracked gas to the marine terminal, the LNG Canada project is a non-starter.

That brings us back to the Morice River, or Wedzin Kwa in the Wet’suwet’en language. This is where the rubber hits the road for “reconciliation”. Politicians are fond of using the word, but seemingly uncomfortable with its implications.

Politicians also talk a lot about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and how to enshrine it in B.C. law. Article 10 of UNDRIP states that “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.” It is hard to see how these arrests are consistent with this basic right.

Pro-pipeline pundits are already working hard to spin this raid as the “rule of law” being asserted over the objections of “protestors”. They point to benefit agreements signed between TransCanada and many band governments along the pipeline route.

But under the Indian Act, elected councillors only have jurisdiction over reserve lands – the tiny parcels set aside for First Nations communities that are administered much like municipalities. That’s not where this pipeline would go.

What is at stake in the larger battle over Indigenous rights and title are the vast territories claimed by the Crown but never paid for, conquered or acquired by treaty. In Wet’suwet’en territory, those lands, lakes and rivers are stewarded by hereditary chiefs and their relatives under a governance system that predates the founding of Canada.

Martin N.

What the public does not know is what concessions the governments made through their intermediaries, the RCMP. The Groper, Saviour of Everything, First Feminist and Greatest Reconcilliator Ever is MIA, choosing a skiing holiday in Whistler over engagement with the Wetsuwet'en and and only burping out a well rehearsed talking point when his string is pulled.

What did the Wetsuwet'en gain, if anything? They were stymied by the feds into accepting a compromise with the cops that left Mr. Dressup off the hook.

In my opinion, they were better off to man the barricades, fight the cops with no surrender until Trudeau, Himself showed up to talk, 'nation to nation'. Better to go down fighting than to meekly submit to the cops.

But, it is also my opinion that this handful of protesters, ably manipulated by the usual 'allies', did not have the ability or, if I may, :-) the 'social license' for this protest and that is why they caved.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Researchers say RCMP action against Wet’suwet’en would place corporate interests over Indigenous rights

January 6, 2019

As police prepare to enforce a court injunction against two Indigenous camps standing in the way of a proposed B.C. pipeline, the authors of a new report say their research indicates the RCMP’s potential action against Wet’suwet’en land defenders will be neither fair, nor objective.

Jeffrey Monaghan of Carleton University and Miles Howe of Queen’s University outline in a new report published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology how RCMP assess individual activists according to political beliefs, personality traits, and even their ability to use social media.

The report says government and RCMP documents uncovered through access to information requests indicate the police are not assessing Indigenous protests in Canada based on factors of criminality but are more concerned about the protestors’ ability to gain public support.

It also shows the government’s risk assessments of Indigenous protests, court injunctions initiated by private corporations against Indigenous people, and RCMP policing tactics all favour corporate interests and private property rights over Indigenous rights and title.

This includes the current resistance by land defenders and hereditary chiefs to the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline slated to run through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.

Checklists developed by RCMP Director of Research and Analysis Dr. Eli Sopow as part of the National Intelligence Coordination Centre’s 2014-2015 Project SITKA reveal “it’s not criminality the RCMP are focused on, it’s the ability of that group to create and craft a counter narrative to the one that suggests whatever the police do is across the board legitimate,” Howe told APTN News in a phone interview.

Howe, a former journalist with the Halifax Media Co-op, covered the Mi’kmaq resistance to fracking in New Brunswick in 2013 and was arrested during a military-style raid of land defenders near Elsipogtog.

He wrote a book detailing the anti-fracking movement and the RCMP’s response to Indigenous people asserting their Indigenous and treaty rights.

Howe, a 2018 Vanier scholar and PhD candidate in Queen’s department of cultural studies, is delving deeper into the state’s policing and surveillance of Indigenous protests and movements.

His collaboration with Monaghan, an assistant professor of criminology, builds on a body of work developed by Monaghan and Andrew Crosby, a coordinator with the Ontario Public Interest Group at Carleton University.

Monaghan and Crosby used access to information laws to uncover thousands of pages of documents from the RCMP, CSIS and government agencies. They detailed their findings in the 2018 book “Policing Indigenous Movements”.

They paint a picture of how government departments, police, intelligence agencies and private sector interests work together to compile intelligence on activists—including Indigenous land defenders—and rate them according to the risk they pose to “critical infrastructure” such as pipelines, and to Canada’s “national interest”.

The authors write that the efforts represent a “new dynamic of policing” that aims to “suppress efforts [by Indigenous people] that challenge colonial control of land and resources.”

They say the RCMP are “not merely [part of] an objective or neutral policing entity but an active supporter of extractive capitalism and settler colonialism.”

Their findings counter a common narrative communicated by the RCMP when responding to Indigenous land defence actions — that the federal police respect people’s right to protest and only act in the interests of public safety.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from above.

quote:

As part of their research Monaghan and Crosby uncovered previously classified documents on the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, some of whose members have built dwellings, a healing centre, and have blocked industry access on their unceded lands for almost a decade.

The researchers shared some of those documents with APTN, including a Government Operations Centre (GOC) report that labelled one of the Unist’ot’en leaders an “aboriginal extremist” and assessed the group based in part on the level of public support they had at the time, in 2015.

The document anticipated that TransCanada, the company overseeing the project—which would carry fracked natural gas from Dawson Creek, B.C. through Wet’suwet’en territory to tidewater at Kitimat—might apply for an injunction in April of that year.

That didn’t happen, but the document reveals that the government, based on information provided by the RCMP, considered the Unist’ot’en the “ideological and physical focal point of Aboriginal resistance to resource extraction projects” and acknowledged that arresting Unist’ot’en members had potential to trigger protests in other regions of Canada.

Monaghan said the document included revealing language, including reference to the pipeline as “critical infrastructure” and “risk to the national interest resulting from a blockade or protest against the proposed TransCanada Coastal Gaslink liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline” (which at the time they determined was “medium-low”).

He said the intelligence-gathering and GOC risk assessment are “not to govern some kind of national security threat or stop crime,” but are instead “about getting this project through, making sure that the enforcement of [an eventual] injunction happens, and that it happens with a low media cost, a low negative public opinion.”

Crosby said the public should anticipate that a police raid of the Unist’ot’en camp, or of the recently erected Gidimdten check point along the same access road near Smithers, B.C., will likely be accompanied by an effort to control the public narrative around the events.

“We can be sure that whatever happens, [authorities are] going to want to ensure that it’s their spin, their version of what happens,” he said.

He said Indigenous sovereignty and the principle of free, prior and informed consent “have become obstacles to Canada’s ambitions to produce and export [fossil fuels].”

Martin N.

Right on the mark because stonewalling land claim settlements are politically expedient and, as just proved, relatively cheap and easy, public opinionwise.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..there is no kinder, gentler capitalism/colonization.

NDPP

"In his advance review of Ongoing Genocide, Prof. Roland Chrisjohn stated: This latest book of Dr Bruce Clark is, for the most part, a collection of his most recent articles concerning, first, the history of the connivance of legal professionals in the dispossession of North American indigenous peoples; second, the impacts this dispossession has had on the communal and personal lives of Native peoples; and third, the complicity of those same professionals in covering their own tracks in this disgraceful enterprise.

The net result of these machinations is the overall thesis of the book that the courts and legal profession recently have invented a set of inferior 'rights', the existence of which suppresses the previously held set of 'existing' aboriginal rights under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Constitution Act, 1867. Section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, reasserts the survival and dominance of the original set of rights by enacting, 'The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples in Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.'

Ongoing Genocide lists the obscuring recently invented set of rights and compares in round brackets the 'existing aboriginal rights' beside them as follows:

1. a recently-invented judge-made 'right to be consulted' in relation to development (as opposed to the constitutional and international law right of veto that exists by virtue of the indigenous national right to withhold treaty consent to development);

2. a recently-invented judge-made 'right to money damages' (as opposed to the constitutional and international law right to reparations for war and genocide against another nation); and/or,

3. a recently-invented judge-made 'right to a primitive practice' (as opposed to the constitutional and international law right to sole possession and exclusive jurisdiction pending proof by the government of a treaty consenting to relinquishment.)...

There is a tendency of the judicial and legal professions, however, that looks to the recent inventions as reversing the hierarchy, that treats the recent inventions like a recently invented detergent that advertises newer is by definition better. The parallel tendency for the judges and legal profession is to apply recent inventions as superseding the older 'existing' law, reversing the rule of law's hierarchy.

And that is what this book is about. It identifies the previously established 'existing' original and authoritative precedents on a given issue affecting aboriginal rights, and then demonstrates that the recently invented judge made law, that is treated as superseding the 'existing' law, is in fact null and void because it 'openly declares a new principle of law,' and is in breach of the law's hierarchy.

When that has been done it is appreciated why the present practice of law today is genocidal. The recently invented judge made law that is allowed to supersede the existing law clashes with the Indians understanding and this creates stress and angst that all too often leads to suicides due to the sudden force of the invasion of the new and invalid law into their affairs..."

Ongoing Genocide Caused by Judicial Suppression of the 'Existing' Aboriginal Rights (2018)

NDPP

The Real War Facing the Wet'suwet'en Nation

https://t.co/UmuAfOe7O2

"The pipeline-fuelled conflict between the RCMP and land defenders in northern BC is a war between tribal and colonial law as old as Canada itself. And it's a war we've internalized.

The elected band council system was introduced under the Indian Act as part of a suite of colonial policies aimed at eradicating traditional governance systems..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs ndpp.

..no one is arguing that the nation to nation relationship should be arbitrated by canadian courts. most folks understand the limitations of those courts. what is being put forth is that those courts can still be used to intervene in what the state and corporations are trying to impose. as in the case of the tm & northern gateway pipelines. as in the case i just posted re fish farms.  

NDPP

Arguably, Canadian courts are NOT the appropriate place to argue such nation to nation issues, since there is a clear history of corruption, a clear bias and far better  an independent, impartial, international tribunal, in my view. 

 Accepting, attorning to or encouraging an illegally invading and usurping colonizing court system to assume jurisdiction to decide issues over unceded sovereign Indigenous territories is never good for traditional sovereigntists, no matter how much the environmental lobby or BC and Canadian lawyers pursuing their own agendas may seek, encourage or fund Indigenous to do so.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NDPP wrote:

Arguably, Canadian courts are NOT the appropriate place to argue such nation to nation issues, since there is a clear history of corruption, a clear bias and far better  an independent, impartial, international tribunal, in my view. 

 Accepting, attorning to or encouraging an illegally invading and usurping colonizing court system to assume jurisdiction to decide issues over unceded sovereign Indigenous territories is never good for traditional sovereigntists, no matter how much the environmental lobby or BC and Canadian lawyers pursuing their own agendas may seek, encourage or fund Indigenous to do so.

..and here i come back to the major point that it is the indigenous folk themselves that will choose the way they approach what is confronting them. it's not that they don't have a wealth of experience to draw on.

..i not only trust this indigenous leadership but view it as a guide, a path, a way of living in harmony with the earth that will lead us out of the multiple crisis we face. in a more democratic way.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the full statement

UBCIC Statement of Clarity in Response to Premier Horgan’s Comments on Unist’ot’en

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – January 10, 2019) Yesterday Premier John Horgan provided insufficient and inappropriate comments regarding the ongoing conflict in Wet’suwet’en territory. The Premier took a minimum approach to acceptable provincial standards for engagement with Indigenous peoples, in direct conflict with his government’s commitments to full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is concerned that Premier Horgan stated that in his view, “LNG Canada has shown the importance of consultation and meaningful reconciliation with First Nations and that’s why they have signed agreements with every First Nation along the pipeline corridor.”

“First, we are beyond consultation and we need to be talking about consent,” responded Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “Second, there is no way that meaningful reconciliation has been achieved considering we had RCMP using excessive force at the Gitimd’en Camp on Monday of this week, in direct violation of article 10 of the UN Declaration which states that ‘Indigenous Peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.’ In 2019 we fully expect the Provincial government to ensure that its political commitments are reflected in every single action and decision taken. We reject the racist notion of veto perpetuated by industry and government, which falsely implies that Indigenous Peoples demand a unilateral final say on decisions that impact them. The UN Declaration makes no mention of the word veto.  We want to have an equal say and have our perspectives respected and upheld.  Since colonization, we have had to deal with the Crown having a veto over almost every aspect of our lives, and in the case of the Unist’ot’en, we just watched what their veto over the peacefully protesting Wet’suwet’en land defenders looked like.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC, stated “Prime Minister Trudeau continues to defend Canada’s support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) despite a lack of consent from Indigenous people impacted. We are disappointed that Premier Horgan is now joining with Prime Minister Trudeau with this defense in the case of the Unist’ot’en. Where Nations have not ceded their Title and Rights, they have control over the entire territory.  As the Supreme Court of Canada recognized in Delgamuukw, inherent Wet’suwet’en Title to their territory has never been extinguished.  The Proper Title holders must provide their free, prior and informed consent to any project in their territory.”

Another troubling aspect of the Premier’s statement included comparing the Province’s role in the ongoing conflict in Wet’suwet’en territory with the recent consent-based negotiations in the Broughton Archipelago with the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations.

Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation (KHFN), and Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), stated “There are not a lot of similarities between the Broughton and the Unist’ot’en engagement with the Province. In June, government-to-government work between our three Nations and the Province was confirmed in a letter of understanding (LOU) formalizing ongoing talks regarding salmon aquaculture in the Broughton Archipelago. Importantly, this was a jointly developed consent-based process where our Title and Rights were recognized and as a result, we included our hereditary leadership in decision-making on outcomes. That’s an extremely important distinction because for us, that’s how we respected Delgamuukw and the wishes of our people. The Province also followed its own decision-making process. There was space in the process to revisit any Tenure decisions that weren’t jointly accepted. I’m confident that we would not have reached a point of RCMP action at Gitimd’en if a jointly designed, consent-based process had been in place.”

“Of course, under the UN Declaration it is the Crown’s responsibility to ensure that consent has been achieved,” concluded Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. “The Premier has committed to implementing legislation on the UN Declaration and now it is more important than ever that this be accelerated. Otherwise, 2019 shall prove to truly be Battleground BC!”

NDPP

Choosing depends upon having the freedom to do so and viable options to select. Since when has Canada allowed 'indigenous folk themselves' to choose? What were the options available? Historically what that has meant is some form of gun to the head 'choice' which accords to the agenda of the colonizer, his legal system, his environmental lobby, etc, on pain of being refused the necessaries of life or worse. Somehow I don't think all that much has changed. We shall see.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..you make good points but it's not a matter of being allowed because we all have to work within "the system". no one is looking for permission. just like your not. just like i'm not. yet we make decisions that conflict with the system everyday. can they stomp on our heads..of course. but they live in that system too and that isn't always politically possible. raise a big enough stink. gather enough support and they do back off from time to time. now could be one of those times..meaning the whole extraction pipeline thing going on in bc. eta: in fact i've never seen this level of struggle in canada in my 70 yrs of being alive. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Blockade in Brantford shuts down main roads to support Wet'suwet'en pipeline protest

In a show of solidarity with members of a First Nations community in British Columbia that is protesting a court injunction allowing a pipeline company access to their land, people in Brantford have blocked off two main roads in the community.

Highway 18 and Cockshutt Rd., two main roads in Brantford, have been blocked off by about 50 supporters.

It's one of many protests across Canada in support of the members of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.

A rolling blockade from the Mowhawk nation at Akwesasne, west of Cornwall, on Highway 401 started early this morning driving 50 km/hr in both lanes heading west towards Belleville.

Another one started in London this morning as well, with a dozen vehicles from the Oneida territory slowing down Highway 402 and 401 traffic driving at 60 km/hr in two lanes.

quote:

"As within our own community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, we have seen our own elected council step outside of their jurisdiction in making land agreements with Hydro One on the Niagara Reinforcement line, and with the City of Brantford."

Chippewas of the Thames Chief Myeengun Henry was on hand to show his support, saying he is "tired" of the government of Canada "telling us what we've agreed upon is trash.

"We gotta stand up for ourselves, and we're gonna stand on these roads and we're going to work together as nations and to tell people you can't come on our traditional territory and arrest our people." said Henry.

"I want regular Canadians here to understand the true history of this country. The treaties that we signed together were formed on partnership, relationship, and being responsible toward each other. Canadians have not learned that in school."

Henry was also critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"His actions aren't exactly what he's doing. It's going backwards, he's not even making a statement on this. How can the government of this country see actions across this whole Canada, and sit back and not say a word about it? That's wrong," said Henry.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory shared a post.

3 hrs ·

RCMP have taken over the Gidimt’en check point and are now claiming it as their own. They are using supplies and have packed up our belongings. Last night the land defenders tried to go pick up their belongings and were denied, with only Molly and Cody and a recorder were allowed. This is contrary to all the information given by police and the judge about access.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Coastal GasLink pipeline permitted through illegal process, lawsuit contends

Editor’s note: In light of events unfolding on Wet’suwet’en traditional territory this week, we’ve resurfaced this in-depth piece from October. Since this article was first published, the National Energy Board has agreed to consider a jurisdictional challenge of the Coastal GasLink pipeline’s approval.

quote:

Although the $4.7-billion pipeline is set to be built entirely within B.C. — which would usually put it under the jurisdiction of the province — the pipeline, which would supply the LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat, connects to an existing pipeline system that is federally regulated.

Also, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada Pipeline Ltd., which means under the Constitution Act the pipeline is within federal jurisdiction and should be regulated by the National Energy Board, Sawyer says in an application to the board.

“A pipeline that crosses international boundaries or provincial boundaries would normally be federally regulated,” Sawyer told The Narwhal, pointing to a 1998 Supreme Court decision that said if a provincial pipeline is “functionally integrated” with an existing federally regulated line, it becomes an extension of the federal line.

Sawyer wants the National Energy Board to conduct an environmental review of the pipeline and, if that application is turned down, he is prepared to ask the Federal Court of Appeal for leave to argue to overturn that decision.

It is a process already familiar to Sawyer, who, last year, launched a similar action dealing with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline.

That application was rejected by the National Energy Board, but the Federal Court of Appeal then ruled that the National Energy Board had erred and sent it back to the board for reconsideration. The question became moot when Petronas killed the Pacific NorthWest LNG project because of depressed natural gas prices.

Sawyer is hoping the previous ruling will give LNG Canada and the provincial and federal governments, which both support the project, pause to reflect on the financial ramifications of a delay.

quote:

Challenge presents legal risk to LNG Canada

West Coast Environmental Law staff lawyer Erica Stahl agrees there is a risk to LNG Canada going ahead before the application is resolved.

“This case means there is a legal risk to them going ahead without a full resolution of the matters raised by Mike Sawyer,” Stahl said.

“They would be wise to take this seriously because of the Federal Court of Appeal’s previous ruling in the Prince Rupert case,” she said.

West Coast Environmental Law is helping fund the case through its Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, a grant provided by the Law Foundation of B.C. to help pay for legally meritorious environmental cases.

If the National Energy Board turns down the application and the case has to wend its way through the courts it could be several years before there is an ultimate decision and Sawyer said that, if it becomes necessary, he could apply for an injunction.

A letter sent in August to the National Energy Board by Catherine Davis, TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. vice-president of natural gas pipelines law, calls Sawyer’s application “vexatious” and asks the board to decline to hear the application as the project is not functionally integrated with the federally regulated NCTL pipeline system.

NDPP

Don Martin: The Blockade that Killed Pipeline Investment (and vid)

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/don-martin-s-blog/don-martin-the-blockad...

"This was the week international investment in Canadian energy transportation went palliative following multiple bouts of protracted suffering...Unfortunately, there is no muddying the harsh Canadian reality for the small pool of deep-pocket pipeline investors. They'll study the casualty list from the last few years - the passing of the Northern Gateway megaproject; the abandonment of the Energy East pipeline extension; the forced government takeover of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion - and conclude the obvious about Canada: Anywhere Else is a better investment. That's the final word."

Excellent!

NDPP

'This is For Art Manuel'

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1083401821748490240.html

"Internal responses to the Delgamuukw decision..."

 

Harsha Walia on Jagmeet Singh

https://twitter.com/HarshaWalia/status/1083610197510127616

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..it's disappointing to hear singh say what he said. those words he uses falls in line with what horgan and trudeau have been saying. he buckled, i guess, not wanting to piss off yet another ndp premier. it totally contradicts what he said in a previous interview with aptn.  

..nothing new in this short real news video but wanted to repeat the comment from tilly. it's so right on the mark and must have, without a doubt, being felt by trudeau.

Outrage In Canada After Militarized RCMP Arrest 14 Wet’Suwet’en Land Defenders on Sovereign Indigenous Land

quote:

DIMITRI LASCARIS: On January 9, following the protests in Montreal, the Prime Minister conducted a town hall in British Columbia where he tried to reassure a rather skeptical audience of his commitment to Indigenous rights.

TILLY (FIRST NATIONS WOMAN): Everything you benefit from is our oppression and our suffering. You are afraid to lose your comfort.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the hereditary chiefs are still opposed to pipelines. The Deal reached doesn't change that but buys them time.

There are two kinds of Indigenous governance structures, but Canada has been listening to just one

quote:

There's the system required by the Indian Act — the chief and council — which is based in colonial law and was imposed rather than adopted. It is not universally recognized by Indigenous people.

The other is the hereditary system: a governance model that varies from one nation to the next, where chieftainships, titles and responsibilities are passed down through generations. It is not beyond reproach, and in some cases it may need to be adjusted to reflect the capitalist world of today. But it is our traditional way, it has sophisticated checks and balances, and it has been in use since before Canada claimed sovereignty.

The First Nations along the pipeline route who have signed benefit agreements are the chiefs and councils elected under the Indian Act. All but one of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, until Thursday, were united against this pipeline.

The odds at which these two systems are often placed is not accidental. The authority of chief and council is delegated by the Indian Act and has historically been largely dependent on a federal ministry to deliver services. Canada's colonial policies of dispossession and cultural repression through residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, the reserve system and much more have created a system of dependency through enforced poverty.

The reliance on federal funding to maintain services makes it incredibly difficult for elected band officials to stand on principle. I don't mean to detract from their efforts or the sincerity of their leadership, but they are elected to keep services flowing, and the reality is that for them to resist too strongly risks getting nothing at all.

Hereditary leaders are not beholden to the same obligations and are much freer to demand that their inherent rights and title are recognized. This is precisely what happened is the case of Delgamuukw v. The Queen, when 35 Gitxsan and 13 Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs sued the Crown, claiming title over their traditional territories.

In 1997, they won a partial but significant victory in which the Supreme Court of Canada recognized Aboriginal title for the first time.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Tlingit & Haida’s Executive Council, managers and staff gathered this morning to show their solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people in their stand against the proposed fracking pipeline set to cross their unceded territory.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..go to link to see all pics by murray bush

'Youth says No!' to attacks on Unist'ot'en

Vancouver high school students walk out in show of support for Wet'suwet'in sovereignty. They took their message to the downtown office of LNG pipeline company Coastal GasLink.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This article sets out the legal framework for the indigenous resistance taking place in BC's North.

In this excerpt from his recently-released book, the late Indigenous activist Arthur Manuel writes about how the BNA Act that created Canada set the young country on the path to a “race-based democracy”

https://nowtoronto.com/news/white-supremacy-is-the-law-of-the-land/?fbcl...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unist'ot'en Under Attack: Film Fundraiser & Discussion

Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM PST

Alternative Library

519 E Maple St, Bellingham, Washington

Join us for an evening dedicated to supporting the Unis'tot'en Camp. We will watch short documentaries about indigenous land defense, the camp itself, and the violent raids on the land defenders there beginning January 7, 2019. There will be a report back from supporters recently returned from Unis'tot'en, and ample time for discussion.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Sfu Walk Out- Support Unist'ot'en Wet’suwet’en -No Pipelines

Friday, January 18, 2019 at 12 PM – 3 PM PST

SFU Convocation Mall

UNIST'OT'EN WET’SUWET’EN peoples are being arrested on their own land as corporations use RCMP to protect their old world interests in oil, gas and fracking. Resource extraction is dirty and affects us all. Lets stand for our future and today.

Meet at Convocation Mall Burnaby Campus SFU at noon Friday the 18th.
#SFUWALKOUT
SFU is on the Tsleil Waututh Nations Territories and we are honored to have Sundance Chief Rueben Geoge speaking.
Banner/sign making session from 10 - 11:30am @AQ 5135

NorthReport
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Simbiyez Wilson's photo.

Dze L K'Ant Friendship Ctr

3955 Third Ave, Smithers, British Columbia

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Support Wet’suwet’en Land Defender In Court

Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:15 AM PST

Prince George Courthouse

250 George St., Prince George, British Columbia

Come and support Carmen, a 72 year old woman, who stood beside the Wet’suwet’en and other land defenders - on her own territory (adopted in, over 40 years ago)... and then was forcibly removed and arrested.

RCMP, special forces, and a tactical team, violently & forcibly removed Carmen, and others from Gidimt’en territory on January 8, 2019. The territories of the Wet’suwet’en people are unceded, and Free, Informed, Prior consent was NOT obtained from CGL (through the Hereditary Chiefs, who hold jurisdiction).

She was removed from the rest of the group, and faces a court date on her own.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
NDPP

NorthReport wrote:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-a-contested-pipeline-tests-the-landscape-of-indigenous-law-who/

NDPP wrote:

From above:

"Under Canadian law the elected chiefs have authority over the reserves created by the crown."

Except the Canadian crown's creation of those reserves [and crown courts etc] beyond the treaty frontier and the imposition of the  DIA  Band Council system was itself illegal, therefore null and void and of no effect. ONLY the traditional government has lawful jurisdiction. 

The aboriginal interest in unceded or unpurchased territory consists of sovereignty, jurisdiction and possession, subject only to a restriction on alienation to no one other than the Canadian crown. See the British North American case law excerpted in  Ongoing Genocide Caused by Judicial Suppression of the 'Existing' Aboriginal Rights, by Bruce Clark, pp 46-70, paragraphs 15-51.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

MERJ stands in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders.

Migrants and Ethnic minorities for Reproductive Justice who LED the abortion movement in Ireland and won!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trudeau’s ‘less than ideal’ comment doesn’t begin to capture the concerns of Indigenous communities

Tanya Talaga

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the arrest of 14 Wet’suwet’en land defenders a “less than ideal situation” this week, adding everyone has the right to protest, as long as they respect the rule of law.

Let’s unpack that for a moment. A “less than ideal situation” is missing the sale on three-ply Kleenex at Shopper’s Drug Mart and having to settle for two-ply instead.

A “less than ideal situation” is locking your keys in your car.

The arrests of 14 people by heavily armed RCMP officers over an issue that will loom large in the 2019 federal election — adherence to Indigenous human rights and land title? Less than ideal doesn’t capture it.

As this week again showed, on a number of important fronts, the Trudeau government’s relations with Indigenous communities are nowhere near ideal.

quote:

This was evident, too, in the “less than ideal” situation playing out in northern British Columbia this week. Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are caretakers of 22,000 square kilometres not covered by any treaty. Hereditary chiefs have protected the land, on behalf of families, since before Canada existed.

This isn’t a part-time job; it is a sacred duty.

When it came time to “consult” on the proposed $6.2 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, the hereditary chiefs, unlike the chiefs and band councils, were left out.

On Wednesday, in the interests of the safety of the land defenders, Wet’suwet’en chiefs struck an interim agreement to give the company temporary access behind the gates.

This isn’t over by a long stretch, warned the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

It is neither “adequate nor substantial” for companies and governments to deal with the elected band councils and then turn around and say we have done our consultation work, Phillip said.

The 675-kilometre pipeline project could be further delayed if the National Energy Board decides that the pipeline falls under federal, not just provincial, jurisdiction, he said. That would mean environmental hearings would take place.

For the prime minister, the Site C Dam on the Peace River presents yet another situation that is far from ideal. And it is one that has caught the attention of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which was first reported by The Narwhal, an online investigative news site (full disclosure: I am a volunteer on The Narwhal’s board of directors.)

The U.N. body has ordered that Canada suspend construction on the 1,100 megawatt hydro dam, which would flood 128 kilometres of the Peace River in Treaty 8 territory. The UBCIC has launched a civil suit against construction.

“The committee is concerned about the alleged lack of measures taken to ensure the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent with regard to the Site C dam, considering its impact on Indigenous peoples control and use of their lands and natural resources,” said the Dec. 14, 2018 letter that was sent to Rosemary McCarney, Canada’s ambassador to the UN.

The committee gave Canada until April 8, 2019 to respond.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What you haven’t heard from inside the battle of Gidimt’en checkpoint

StarMetro reporters spent five days inside and outside the fortified lines of the conflict in the snowy mountains of Northern B.C. Here’s what they saw.

quote:

Kneeling atop the metal box behind the gate, Sabina Dennis pleaded with police to back down.

You don’t have to do this, she implored. We are doing this for your children, too, she said.

“Don’t you know that we love you?”

Concern was etched across Cpl. Benjamin Smith face as the RCMP Division Liaison co-ordinator made one last attempt to convince Wickham and the other land defenders to open the Gidimt’en checkpoint gate.

Despite hours of negotiation, including police allowing hereditary chiefs to provide supplies to the camp and hand-delivering the supplies himself, Wickham refused to yield to Cpl. Smith’s request.

According to her laws, she couldn’t. It wasn’t her call. Of course they would open the gate, she said, if police had the consent of the hereditary chiefs.

“You do not have that consent,” she repeated over and over, like a mantra.

NDPP

Thank You From Coastal Gaslink (lol!)

http://www.coastalgaslink.com/an-open-letter-from-cgl-president-rick-gat...

"...Recently, activities to block our work near the Morice River Bridge in north west BC have occurred. I'm pleased to say that a positive solution enabling us to peacefully cross the bridge and public access allowing work to progress, has been achieved. I credit this achievement to a commitment to respectful and meaningful dialogue demonstrated by all parties involved in our discussions with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs and RCMP.

I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Province of BC and many community leaders during this period. Importantly, I want to assure all British Columbians that the Wet'suwet'en camp will not be disturbed. The camp's people and activities will in no way be impacted by our work a kilometre away. I respect that we may not always agree, but I am proud nonetheless of the relationships we have built.

We value deeply the support of communities, all 20 elected Indigenous First Nations along our route and many Hereditary Chiefs. I am especially grateful to those who worked together over recent weeks, including Hereditary Chiefs, to achieve a mutually agreeable solution. This demonstrates that positive dialogue - based on common values, including safety, collaboration and integrity - can create constructive outcomes.

The Coastal Gaslink project will bring significant benefits..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

First-Ever Indigenous Peoples March Will Fight Against Injustices Faced Across the Globe

Raising alarm about human rights violations and the global climate crisis, activists from around the world are traveling to Washington, D.C. for the first annual Indigenous Peoples March, which will kick off at 8am local time on Jan. 18 outside the U.S. Department of the Interior's main building.

"It's wonderful—and needed, now more than ever—to see so many tribes and organizations coming together to raise awareness about the ongoing need to preserve and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples," said organizer Phyllis Young of the Lakota People's Law Project.

Launched by the Indigenous Peoples Movement, a newly formed coalition dedicated to fostering positive change on "issues that directly affect our lands, peoples, and respective cultures," the march will be preceded by a group prayer at 9am and followed by an evening fundraising concert at the Songbird Music House.

"Indigenous people from North, Central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean are a target of genocide," the organizers charge. "Currently, many Indigenous people are victims of voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex and human trafficking, and police/military brutality with little or no resources and awareness of this injustice."

quote:

"It's going to be a beautiful day," he said of the march. "Our people are under constant threat, from pipelines, from police, from a system that wants to forget the valuable perspectives we bring to the table. But those challenges make us stronger. We look forward to gathering together and raising awareness. We must remind the world, again, that Indigenous people matter. We are all made better when we respect one another and lift each other up."

Iron Eyes' comments come just a day after global protests spurred by outrage over the Canadian government's support for TransCanada's plans to build a fracked gas pipeline through unceded Wet'suwet'en territory, despite opposition to the project from First Nations leaders. Public anger ramped up on Monday afternoon, ahead of the demonstrations, after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) invaded a checkpoint established by Indigenous land defenders and arrested 14 of them.

We stand with you! https://t.co/1VFEdqgu2Q

— Indigenous Peoples Movement (@IndigenousPpls) January 8, 2019

NDPP

'Tripod' Delays Access to Unist'ot'en Camp (and vid)

https://www.interior-news.com/news/tripod-delays-access-to-unistoten-camp/

"...There will be continued police presence conducting roving patrols of the Morice West Forest Service Road to ensure the safety of the individuals at the Healing Centre and of CGL.

..a Community/Industry Safety Office (CISO) will be placed in the Morice West Forest Service Road corridor as a temporary RCMP detachment. It will remain in place as long as deemed necessary."

NDPP

Walking Eagle News: Jagmeet Singh

https://twitter.com/TheEagleist/status/1084506336384172033

"News from our expansive archive: NDP 'more than capable' of excluding, disappointing First Nations too: Singh..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..5 min video

Trudeau Acknowledges No Deed

On January 9, 2019, in Kamloops BC, on unceded Secwepemc territrory, Justin Trudeau is asked if he has a deed. What are Canada's legal rights to build projects on unceded territories?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ottawa friends just disrupted Health Minister of Canada at a conference in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mi’kmaw scholar says Indigenous women are taking the lead in resistance movement

A prominent Mi’kmaw scholar says she watched the clash between Wet’suwet’en activists and RCMP earlier this week and noted that many of those on the front lines were women — something that made her both hopeful and concerned.

Sherry Pictou, a professor at Mount Saint Vincent University who studies Indigenous feminism, spoke to an audience of more than 50 people who packed into a small lecture hall at Dalhousie University Friday afternoon.

The talk was part of an ongoing feminist seminar series at the university, which hosts a different speaker each month.

“This is about our struggle, but also about our resilience and our resurgence,” Pictou said, referring to Indigenous women across the country who have taken on leading roles in land defence and human-rights advocacy.

quote:

To the audience, she spoke reverently about the women involved with the Unist’ot’en barricade but admitted she was “a little bit worried” for their safety.

“We are at a juncture in history where we are at risk of duplicating and marginalizing women even further,” she said.

Pictou said the danger lies not only in the violence that can take place on the front lines of conflicts but also amid the development of pipelines or other projects that require rural, isolated work camps.

Researchers in Alberta and B.C. have shown a link between remote work camps and violence against women and it’s important to do gender-based analysis in communities before projects start.

An obstacle to that kind of gender-based risk analysis, according to Pictou, is that “women are not sitting at the table,” especially Indigenous women.

On Tuesday, there were Wet’suwet’en solidarity rallies and counterprotests staged around the country. Halifax’s rally was led by women, aligning with Pictou’s assertion that Indigenous women are, for better or worse, at the forefront of Indigenous activist work.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Wet’suwet’en conflict echoes bitter oilsands battles — only this time it’s natural gas

British Columbia Premier John Horgan is trying to downplay comparisons between this week’s protests against the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which he supports, and the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain oil pipelines, which he has opposed.

“What’s relevant is the issue before us. In this case, it’s a natural gas pipeline that has support from 20 of the 20 bands along the pipeline, including the hereditary leadership,” Horgan told a news conference in Victoria on Wednesday.

“I’m firmly of the view that this project, the LNG project in Kitimat, will benefit the region and everyone in it,” he said.

quote:

He said comparisons to past protests against resource projects including the War in the Woods, and campaigns against the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines were not directly analogous to opposition to this week’s events — though many both in favour of the project and opposed see a direct parallel.

“This is the same fight as the fight to stop Trans Mountain’s disastrous diluted bitumen pipeline and tanker project. The risks are too great — we can not and will not allow them to destroy our way of life. No means no,” Tsleil-Waututh First Nation member Will George said in a release, distributed by Protect the Inlet.

Those in favour of the gas pipeline also see a direct comparison, and believe the current B.C. government has fostered some of the opposition.

“If you go back to when the NDP government was in opposition, they opposed everything,” Independent Contractors Association of B.C. president Chris Gardner said.

“The position they now find themselves in is that everyone they were allied with are very disappointed and continue to oppose the projects,” Gardner said.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Alexa MacLean‏ @AlexaMacLean902 12. Jan.

Happening now at Mic Mac Mall - dozens gather for flash mob in Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en. Peaceful protest against pipelines.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Some 30 demonstrators gathered in Yellowknife on Tuesday. (Michael Hugall/CBC)

About 150 protesters blocked traffic in London, Ont., Wednesday. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is why the NDP is going into the dustbin of history. He either does not understand the difference between hereditary chiefs and Band counsels or he is being deliberately obtuse. The NDP is either a party seeking to please the majority or it is a party fighting for the rights of the underclasses and minorities. It is clear which one is going to be running in the 2019 election. Singh will not outdo Trudeau at the Obama clone game.

Jagmeet Singh gave the following response when asked today by Evan Solomon on CTV Question Period about the Unistoten arrests and whether he supported that LNG pipeline. Solomon, much as I dislike his smug centrism, was fully justified in his response, “To be fair, sir, you sound exactly like Justin Trudeau.”

***

“Yeah, I’ve already mentioned my support for this project, given they’ve done consultation in a very meaningful way, broadly speaking. As you mentioned, the vast majority of Indigenous elected bands and chiefs have all shown support. And the consultation process was done in a very meaningful way, very much in line with what we’d like to see happen with all consultations moving forward, respect of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is a tough path to walk down, but it’s a very important path to walk down. And that’s what we’ve seen in the consultations, and that’s what we need to see with any other project moving forward.”

NDPP

The Tears of Justin Trudeau

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/14/the-tears-of-justin-trudeau/

"There is something familiar about Trudeau's lamentation on this situation as well as his appeal to the rule of law. This is because neoliberal leaders around the world have used similar justifications for the violence of the corporate state. And while Trudeau has attempted to brand himself a leader on reconciliation with First Nations and for addressing climate change, he has demonstrated time after time his true allegiance is to the corporate state..."

In fact Canada and its premature invasion into unceded Indigenous territories, its occupation, usurpation, colonization and genocide are a massive trashing of the rule of law. See: #8, #210, #234

Martin N.

Have you heard that Canada is a colonial police state controlled by multinational corporations that uses military force to invade Indigenous people and force them off their land?

 

Activist pictures from inside the blockade showed female protesters staged at the front to depict helplessness in the face of overwhelming force. The last scenes I saw were of an obviously gasoline-fed fire at the barrier, clouds of black smoke revealing the accelerant.

Here’s the account of a well-connected area resident I won’t identify. As police prepared to move in, protesters soaked the frozen ground with gasoline. This was likely from jerry cans carried in earlier in the day by RCMP liaison staff along with other supplies, to allow occupiers to leave in comfort and dignity in their vehicles.

The fire was set as police entered and quickly got out of control, igniting the protesters’ tent and a bus that still had a protester tied to it. Police had bolt cutters to cut down the barrier and were able to rescue him.

https://www.interior-news.com/opinion/b-c-views-tracking-propaganda-arou...

Slick propaganda by the usual suspects is countered with eyewitness reports. Activist credibility continues to erode with the ever increasing  hysteria. In an increasingly media-savvy world, these stunts are counter productive.

Pages