Unist'ot'en camp

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Tom Fletcher You have sunk to a new low for passing on corporate sycophant propaganda. He is the nastiest right wing attack dog in the BC press and that is a stiff competition.


Trudeau defends transfer of Canada's first Indigenous justice minister as RCMP-Wet'suwet'en standoff continues


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Occupied Dish with One Spoon Territory Hamilton, ON

As of approximately 9am on Monday January 14th, a group entered & shut down a TransCanada (Now TC-Energy) facility in what is Dish with One Spoon Territory, known as Hamilton, ON. The facility, located at 1020 Rymal Road East, is a compressor station for the “Chippewa” line, which imports natural gas from the Appalachia region and directs it East beyond Tkaronto, as well as West toward the Empress connection which fuels tarsands operations in Northern Alberta.

The action is being done in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en peoples at Unist’ot’en & the Gidumt’en checkpoint, who were violently attacked and arrested on their own unceded homelands by police one week ago. In response to the armed violence and fourteen arrests, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have temporarily allowed TC-Energy workers onto the territory to begin field survey work, but assert there will be no pipelines built.

The group taking actions acknowledges itself as a mostly-settler and white-passing group; one that sees silence and inaction in these moments as complicity, and who see their responsibility as settlers to challenge and dismantle the harmful systems their ancestors have enacted....

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Rally in support of Wet’suwet’en clans has snarled rush hour traffic in

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A Peoples' Assembly could help First Nations assert their own sovereignty

Canada’s military assault against the Wet'suwet'en nation, the RCMP’s media blackout of the forceful removal of leaders from their land, and the access given to private contractors while the nation’s members were barred is only the latest example of how this country has failed Indigenous peoples and violated their sovereignty. Canada has shown its true colours as a violent petro-state, controlled by corporate interests and perpetuating colonialism for private gains.

Alberta’s premier, Rachel Notley, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline will be built despite massive opposition from local municipalities, the government of British Columbia, and citizens, but the army was not brought in against them, and B.C.’s premier, John Horgan, was not forcefully removed. Canada has a particular willingness to trample First Nations’ rights.


Trudeau likes to claim that Canada supports nation-to-nation discussions on important issues, that Indigenous peoples are consulted and that their voices are heard and included in the decision-making process. This is at best a patronizing farce meant to invalidate any future objections. In an emergency meeting between Alberta, B.C., and Canada, Indigenous leaders were never considered for inclusion. As a colonial power, Canada continues to redefine Indigenous peoples’ power in whatever way is most advantageous and convenient to the private interests of the rich.

Canada and its constitution have failed Canadians and Indigenous peoples. Self-determination is a fundamental value of democracy. Ordinary people must have control over the decisions that concern them. We cannot be democrats and accept that the Canadian federation can force the will of oil companies on the peoples of Canada, who are speaking and acting out against this project and others like it.

There is only one solution. We need a Peoples’ Assembly to talk about sovereignty, not just for Quebec, but for Indigenous peoples. We need a new arrangement for people outside of the major power centres of Ottawa and Bay Street to ensure that Canadians can protect their drinking water without their access to health care being threatened.

The only party calling for such an assembly is Quebec Solidaire. As anglophones, we can force this dialogue to reflect the fundamental problems of our society: sovereignty for Indigenous peoples to govern themselves and their land traditionally, power for ordinary people to protect their land, and sovereignty from Ottawa but also from Bay Street and international capitalists.



epaulo13 wrote:

A Peoples' Assembly could help First Nations assert their own sovereignty

Alberta’s premier, Rachel Notley, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline will be built despite massive opposition from local municipalities, the government of British Columbia, and citizens, but the army was not brought in against them, and B.C.’s premier, John Horgan, was not forcefully removed. Canada has a particular willingness to trample First Nations’ rights.

Polling does not show this.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..maybe the polling doesn't reflect it but it is real none the less. there is massive opposition. 

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Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory

SHARE WIDELY - RCMP have invaded and occupied our territory and are working to establish a police detatchment on Gidumt'en territory without the consent of our people. Our chiefs have entered into an agreement with the RCMP, under the threat of further police violence, to allow CGL to temporarily work within Wet'suwet'en territories until the interlocutory injunction is heard. That agreement, which dictates that all police exclusion zones will be lifted immediately and that our members will have free access to our territories, has already been violated by the RCMP.

Our Elder Rita David of the Gidumt'en Clan is interviewed here, connecting today's violence with the forced displacement of Wet'suwet'en people over the last 200 years

This invasion will not be tolerated. All eyes on Wet'suwet'en Yin'tah.


AFN Intervened  in Wet'suwet'en and RCMP Conflict Amid Negotiations


"...On January 9, two days after the raid, Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP reached a tentative agreement to let pipeline workers through the Unist'ot'en access point, which has kept industry out of the territory for almost a decade.

That agreement will also include the establishment of a temporary RCMP 'detachment' and a police presence to ensure the safety of Unist'ot'en House members who say they've faced threats from locals in recent years.

A statement from RCMP media relations Tuesday said Lucki and Bellegarde 'have spoken on this matter and are in frequent contact on a wide range of issues.

See the facebook posting above to see how all this is working out. And in whose benefit.

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Canadian association of petroleum producers being occupied in ottawa right now!

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Smoke, mirrors and roadblocks leave Canadians in the dark about Uni’sto’ten

Rachel A. Snow

2019 opens with Indigenous peoples PROTECTING their territory while Justin Trudeau’s Canada continues to try to deceive the Canadian public about the real relations between his government and the original people of this land.

At Unist’oten, RCMP enforced an interim court order delivered December 14, 2018. Less than one month later, the RCMP are on site to uphold “the rule of law” as Trudeau puts it.

Canadians should know that Trudeau cherry picks when his government will uphold the “rule of law”. This is clear in the First Nation child welfare crisis with babies being removed from mothers in hospitals, with 90,000 documents not given to the Human Rights Tribunal in Cindy Blackstock’s case, and with the federal Liberals continuing to refuse to compile with a court ordered remedy.


Unist’oten like the recent stand off in Standing Rock over pipeline construction has had to bear the brunt of a foreign court with settler laws deciding the fate of their collective ability to follow their ancient ways of life. Is this fair?

Additionally, having to leave or ignore their ancestral teachings, the original people or First Nations are expected to embrace Whitespeak solutions like reconciliation without really having any say other than the paternal special words and tactics (SWAT) promoted by the government of the day.

This is our reality Canada.

Things are not getting better between the state and the original people, the First Nations, the Indians.

In Unist’oten for the media sources that did get into the site, the questions asked pertained to why there are two different forms of leadership at Unist’oten? Premier Hogan used political mish mashing and threw in the word complexity while the Prime Minister would not address it but later said, we need to do better.

In a nutshell, non-native academics have shown that Indian agents from the Department of Indian Affairs threw out First Nation original governance systems. Indian agents preferred to work with the more malleable band members. With “democracy” and “the voting elections” brought into Canadian Indian reserves, by Indian Affairs, it is easy to see that an unchanging demographic will result in the biggest family or clan controlling the vote, the leadership, and by extension the reserve.

This is why there are occasional documents or incidents that surface about corruption or mismanagement on reserve. The missing part of the analysis is that Indian Affairs under the Federal government has created and maintains this systemic wrong at the expense of other band members and Canadians.


Cases like Nisga’a, Sparrow, Delgamuukw, and Haida came out of this province on land title, rights pertaining to fishing, land title and rights pending title agreement. It seems that Canada or British Colombia can’t negotiate title which is the bigger issue because: with definitive agreement on who “owns” the land, First Nations will receive all other “aboriginal” rights.

Hogan tried to state that hereditary clans of leadership of the Wet’suwet’en are the “emerging” governance models coming out in the clash at Unist’oten. Wrong. The hereditary leadership and their clans are the true governance system that existed for millennia pre-contact.

Once it became clear that mainstream media was zeroing in on two groups the Indian Act Band council consenters and the hereditary leadership that is saying they do not consent, this issue was somehow “settled”. LNG subsidiaries are driving through the Unist’oten camp undisturbed.

Trudeau also got a letter from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination stating his proposed “framework” would infringe on Indigenous peoples rights to be protected at International law. Trudeau then shuffles his cabinet demoting his top “aboriginal” Minister from Justice to Veteran Affairs.


It saddens me to have read Singh's response where he talks about how great a process was followed by the BC government in completely ignoring the hereditary chiefs who the SCC says are the group invested with the communal rights not the Indian Act councils. I wonder what Judy had to say about this that got her demoted.

Martin N.

bekayne wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

A Peoples' Assembly could help First Nations assert their own sovereignty

Alberta’s premier, Rachel Notley, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline will be built despite massive opposition from local municipalities, the government of British Columbia, and citizens, but the army was not brought in against them, and B.C.’s premier, John Horgan, was not forcefully removed. Canada has a particular willingness to trample First Nations’ rights.

Polling does not show this.

Majority of Canadians in all regions but Quebec believe lack of oil pipelines is a crisis: poll

There's little doubt that, whether pipeline capacity constitutes an objective crisis or not, it's top of mind for voters in many parts of the country......

These numbers start to really indicate that it is no longer, that polling on this issue, and the numbers we’ve seen on this issue are no longer solely driven by the Alberta-Saskatchewan viewpoint and that, when we look at the question of whether it’s a crisis or whether we look at a question of priority, we’re starting to see that there is a more pan-Canadian view,” said Shachi Kurl, the executive director of the Angus Reid Institute. “The mushy middle, or those that don’t necessarily have an opinion on the issue, their views are actually starting to harden and gel.”

But the poll also finds that there are strong regional disparities and that, in other regions, issues such as cost of living is top-of-mind, and not pipeline capacity. Still, even in Quebec, 40 per cent of respondents said new oil pipeline capacity is a crisis, and in B.C., 53 per cent agreed.

The perception that it’s a crisis is starkest in Alberta, where 87 per cent of respondents agreed and in Saskatchewan, where 74 per cent of respondents agreed. And while pipeline politics have dominated the news, Canadians mostly support both Trans Mountain — an expansion project between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. — and Energy East, the now defunct line from Hardisty, Alta., to Saint John, N.B. Fifty-three per cent of respondents support both, while just 19 per cent oppose both; 17 per cent are unsure.

“The outlier on this issue is Quebec,” the report says. “Support leans heavily in the direction of building both pipelines in every region outside of that province.”


epaulo's hysteria is not supported by the majority of Canadians. 

Martin N.

Only 19% oppose both TransMountain and Energy East. Nineteen Percent is not "massive", it's pathetic.


The people of Sudbury supported the open pit roasting beds because they wanted jobs. We have moved beyond that level of destruction but the excuse for destroying the planet remains the same. The sad part is that if capital was available for green projects they would create far more jobs in far more areas of Canada. Instead our nation's decisions on capital allotment, both private and public, have been captured by the oiligarchs. 


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..manufacturing consent.

Industry-hired experts downplay impacts of major projects: UBC study

A review of 10 recent environmental impact assessments in B.C. found professionals hired by companies generally find ways to diminish the significance of health and environmental impacts

..even after years of lies and threats and attacks the powers that be still barely manage over 50%.

..but even that doesn't add up to consent.




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Wetsuweten Voice is live now. in smithers.



Wetsuweten Voice is live now.


"Page not found."

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..i get it when i hit the link. try this.



Martin N.

Re: 264. Good article.

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..live feed just ended. excellent gathering in smithers. main message this is far from over.

..for anyone that's interested it canbe viewed here. video 1hr 11min.

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All nations standing with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en in Vancouver right now, blocking the Venables crossing of the rail line to the port — if you’re near, come join in!



..i get it when i hit the link. try this.




Thanks that works, the other does not.

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The Unist’ot’en stand-off: How Canada’s “prove-it” mentality undermines reconciliation

The world watched last week as an armed RCMP force entered Wet’suwet’en territory without their consent and arrested 14 people. The RCMP were enforcing an interim injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. (a subsidiary of TransCanada Pipelines) to prevent interference with work regarding its planned natural gas pipeline crossing Wet’suwet’en territory.

On January 6th, just prior to the raid, the RCMP released a statement to the media. A portion of that statement was later removed from the RCMP website after some strong criticism.

Part of the original, now-deleted RCMP statement (viewable here) said:

“For the land in question, where the Unist’ot’en camp is currently located near Houston, BC, it is our understanding that there has been no declaration of Aboriginal title in the Courts of Canada. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an important decision, Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, that considered Aboriginal titles to Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en traditional territories. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that a new trial was required to determine whether Aboriginal title had been established for these lands, and to hear from other Indigenous nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. The new trial has never been held, meaning that Aboriginal title to this land, and which Indigenous nation holds it, has not been determined.”

The RCMP subsequently called this portion of its media statement “inappropriate” and removed it. Nonetheless, the RCMP’s statement is reflective of a commonly-held view that the Indigenous decision-making authority inherent in Aboriginal title, and in an Indigenous nation’s own laws and governance, does not apply until it has been determined in Court or recognized by the Crown in an agreement.

This view effectively puts the burden of proof on Indigenous nations to “prove” (to state institutions) that their pre-existing title and governance exists in order for it to apply – sometimes referred to as the “prove-it” approach. This is in stark contrast to the recognition approach that starts by acknowledging Indigenous rights and title.


Aboriginal rights are inherent – not granted by Canadian law

Canada’s Constitution and judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada recognize the pre-existing nature of Aboriginal rights and title, which are interwoven with Indigenous laws and governance. Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which both the federal and BC governments have committed to implement, recognizes “the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources.”

Importantly, the source of the inherent rights affirmed by UNDRIP is the pre-existing governance and culture of each Indigenous nation itself – in other words, UNDRIP recognizes rather than creates the rights. The Supreme Court of Canada similarly recognizes that constitutionally-protected Aboriginal title is not created by Canadian law, rather the source of Aboriginal title “arises from the prior occupation of Canada by aboriginal peoples.” Canadian law is playing catch-up by slowly recognizing these rights.


Why is Aboriginal title (still) not being applied on the ground?

There are several factors that have allowed the Crown to continue making decisions that avoid the implications of Aboriginal title and Indigenous governance on the ground over the two decades since the Delgamuukwv decision was made. These include:

· Aboriginal title cases are long and expensive. The millions of dollars (and many years or decades) required to take an Aboriginal title case to trial, and likely through appeals, is prohibitive for many Indigenous nations. For example, the Delgamuukwv case was filed in 1984, started trial in 1987, and received its final appeal decision in 1997 (which ordered a new trial).

· The Crown has generally not concluded agreements to recognize Indigenous title and governance. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the Crown has a legal duty to “negotiate in good faith” to reach agreements to reconcile assertions of Crown sovereignty with Aboriginal title and rights. However, there has been a widespread and protracted failure by the Canadian state to honourably reach agreements with Indigenous nations regarding exercise of their title and governance.

For example, while a small number of modern treaties have been signed, the modern BC treaty process has generally been the subject of extreme criticism. Leaders such as UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip have stated that the process is “fundamentally flawed.” In his 2018 article entitled “Have We Just Witnessed the End of the Modern Treaty Process?” lawyer Bruce McIvor concludes that: “because of the federal and provincial governments’ policies of extinguishment, treaty has come to mean the surrender of Aboriginal title and rights.”

· In the meantime, Courts have held the Crown to a standard of consultation, but not consent. Courts have not required the Crown to stop approving development proposals that do not have Indigenous consent while disagreements between the Crown and Indigenous nations about title and governance remain unresolved. Canada’s constitutional law requires that, until Aboriginal title and related rights are “proven” in Court or resolved by agreement with the Crown, the Crown has a duty to consult and, in some cases, accommodate Indigenous nations regarding decisions that may impact their title and rights. While this obligation has required the Crown to engage in more dialogue with Indigenous nations, so far it has also continued to permit the Crown to make decisions over their objections.


This leaves the practical application of Aboriginal title and governance in a state of limbo in Canada’s legal system, and contributes to conflicts like the one unfolding as Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders seek to enforce their own laws regarding Coastal GasLink. The “prove-it” approach to Indigenous title and governance directly contradicts and undermines any meaningful attempts at reconciliation by showing wilful blindness to the rights of Indigenous peoples, in this case the Wet’suwet’en.

In her opinion piece about how a lack of political will to truly address Aboriginal title and implement UNDRIP will continue to set the stage for high-profile conflicts such as the Unist’ot’en impasse, Professor Judith Sayers puts it this way:

“Let’s face it; if Wet’suwet’en lands had been recognized and given legal protection, there would not be this kind of dispute in the public eye.”

Without question, the circumstances surrounding the Coastal GasLink project are complicated. Other Indigenous nations have signed agreements with the company, as have band councils governing reserves within Wet’suwet’en territories. However, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs unanimously oppose the Coastal GasLink project, exercising their jurisdiction in Wet’suwet’en law (the Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukwv described the system of Clans and Houses with Hereditary Chiefs as “the fundamental premise of both the Gitksan and the Wet’suwet’en peoples”).

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Cabinet shuffle shows reconciliation dropping in priority for Trudeau, say Indigenous advocates


Indication of priorities

Hayden King, executive director of the Yellowhead Institute research centre at Ryerson University in Toronto, said the cabinet shuffle signals a shift in priorities for the Trudeau Liberal government.

King said Philpott was well liked by the elected First Nations leadership, but the loss of Wilson-Raybould at Justice delivers a particular blow because her department plays a pivotal role in the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.

"Having Jody Wilson-Raybould out of the Attorney General's office when she was pushing so much on a more progressive approach on Indigenous justice issues and litigation is an indication that the Trudeau Liberals are not prioritizing that relationship heading into the election," said King.

In one of Wilson-Raybould's last acts as minister, she issued a directive aimed at guiding the government to settle Indigenous rights cases rather than spend millions in court fighting them.

Wilson-Raybould said in a statement accompanying the directive that the aim was to "advance an approach to litigation that promotes resolution and settlement and ... narrow or avoid potential litigation."

'Promises ring hollow'

Turpel-Lafond said Wilson-Raybould seemed to have been signalling in speeches delivered over the past few months that she was meeting internal resistance to reforming Ottawa's approach to Indigenous rights.

"There was certainly …. at least through the eyes of this most prominent Indigenous member of that cabinet, a concern that things were not being accelerated," said Turpel-Lafond.

"They were perhaps being decelerated, and they were also being managed more than they were being resolved."

Turpel-Lafond referred to one speech in particular delivered by Wilson-Raybould on Nov. 29 in Vancouver.

"Within government, when discussing matters of Indigenous rights, one still often finds a seeming disproportionate focus on 'risk' — speculation that the sky may fall," Wilson-Raybould said, according to a transcript of the speech.

Cheryl Casimer, a member of the First Nations Summit task force in B.C., said Philpott's and Wilson-Raybould's departures suggest Trudeau is no longer committed to reforging Canada's relationship with Indigenous Peoples, as he promised in a speech in the House of Commons last February.


Ok I’m green here about this Indigenous People’s issue so help me out here

Unis’ot’en is a tribe that has land in B.C. and theres a gas pipeline going through it. They are opposed to this line but how did the gas company put it there in the first place? And if the onwnership of the land is not clear, how could the gas company put that line there in the first place?


Why not start by reading the thread?

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..yes reading is the way to go.

..land title is clear. there is no pipe now. governments and coastal gas are trying to ram one through against the wishes of the title holders by using the rcmp to bust up the resistance. 


I have read some so I’ve got an idea. Epaolo posts a lot of links and pastes stuff out making his comments even longer and intimidating to get into. So maybe you can work on that?

Anyways, to me it sounds like the rcmp and the gas company workers are trespassing. The courts shouldn’t have any jurisdiction. Or the Indigenous people’s should establish their own courts justice political system and assert jurisdiction over their unceeded territories. 

Police their territory and impose penalties. 

Is this idea too much?

Martin N.

Exactly as I posted previously, the Ottawa mandarins are churning policy and burning funding. They do not want progress to interfere with their sinecures. 


Jody Wilson-Raybould and Mary Turpel-Lafrond must scare the bejebus out of the Ottawa crowd. Although it must be bitter for both of them, suffering the same sort of lateral shifting out the door when their successes made the usual chair warmers nervous, this forced demotion away from any power to progress show the cynical Groper for the self-interested panderer he is.

Trudeau and his Libranos are running out the clock on indigenous issues rather than negotiating in good faith. Run these asshats out of Ottawa this fall.


Martin N. wrote:
Trudeau and his Libranos are running out the clock on indigenous issues rather than negotiating in good faith. Run these asshats out of Ottawa this fall.

I agree with you on your dislike of Trudeau, however do you really think there is another political party currently represented in the House of Commons that will do any better on that front?



Is this idea too much?


For the PTB most definitely. That's why the stormtroopers and their machine guns were sent in. 


Martin N. wrote:

Mary Turpel-Lafrond must scare the bejebus out of the Ottawa crowd.

Odd thing to say, since she hasn't been there since graduating from Carleton over 30 years ago.

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First Nations leaders gather in a powerful show of support for the Wet'suwet'en Nation

First Nations leaders from across British Columbia gathered in Smithers Wednesday for a powerful show of support for the Wet'suwet'en Nation and all those standing up to defend Indigenous governance systems, human rights, and the well-being of lands and waters for all people in generations to come.

"The hereditary leaders from across British Columbia stand behind the Wet'suwet'en and the assertion of their traditional laws. This morning hundreds of hereditary leaders, supporters and allies from across British Columbia gathered on Wet'suwet'en territory to stand in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en chiefs as they affirm their title, rights and responsibilities to protect their ancestral lands," said Dinï ze’ Na’Moks (hereditary Chief John Ridsdale), reading a joint message from the chiefs at a press conference in Smithers on Wednesday morning.....

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CUPE supports reconciliation in Wet’suwet’en Territory and across Canada

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is offering solidarity and support to the people of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia.

CUPE is relieved that the police standoff has been averted for the time being, and hopeful that the federal government will recognize that it is long past time for real action when it comes to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“Canadians were shocked to see the aggressive action of heavily armed police at the Unist’ot’en camp as they removed peaceful protestors and blocked access to journalists,” says Mark Hancock, national president of CUPE. “We would never accept this kind of behaviour towards striking workers on a picket line. Protest is a fundamental right, and the Wet’suwet’en people have a right to protect their unceded territory.”

The five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have never signed a treaty with Canada and have never ceded their territory in central British Columbia. For almost a decade, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have maintained several checkpoints and camps to halt any development in their territories from proceeding without their consent. Last week, heavily armed police began dismantling these checkpoints, and forcefully removed peaceful land defenders.

“If the Prime Minister and his government are truly committed to reconciliation, to the UN Declaration, and to building a better relationship with Indigenous peoples, the time and place to prove it is right here and right now,” says Charles Fleury, national secretary-treasurer of CUPE.

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Wolastoq Grand Council and allies meet with Fredericton MP to voice support for Wet’suwet’en land and water protectors

Wolastoq Grand Council Chief Ron Tremblay, Wolastoq clan grandmother Alma Brooks and a dozen settler allies met with Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey on the morning of Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 in his downtown Fredericton office to extend their support for the Wet’suwet’en land and water protectors. Tremblay presented a letter to DeCourcey and the Trudeau government calling for recognition of traditional governments.

I strongly advise you to reconsider your position to advance the gas pipeline through the non-ceded homeland of Wet’suwet’en People. By doing so you will demonstrate a true nation-to-nation relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, partnership and fulfill your promise that no relationship is more important to you and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples.

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Department Statement Regarding Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

The UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory condemns the invasion of the Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en checkpoint and forcible removal of citizens and land and water protectors from the unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. Concerned members of the department have written the following statement to President Santa Ono urging action.

Dear President Santa Ono,

The undersigned faculty, staff and students of The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory are writing to register our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in the face of assaults by armed RCMP officers on the Unist’ot’en Camp, and urge you to make a public statement opposing these tactics and supporting the rights of the people of the Wet’suwet’en nation.

As we are sure you know, heavily-armed RCMP officers, in some cases wearing tactical camouflage fatigues, raided the peaceful, non-violent Gidimt’en checkpoint on January 7 and arrested 14 members of the Gidimt’en clan.

The Wet’suwet’en have called on all people of conscience to act in solidarity. We believe that the University of British Columbia’s commitment to the truth and reconciliation process commits it further to speaking out against such dangerous violations of the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en nation and their rights to safeguard their land and culture.

Our department like many others in the University, has Indigenous faculty, staff and students who along with many of their colleagues, are deeply distressed about such repressive measures undertaken by the Canadian state. This is in violation both of its stated position on reconciliation and its commitments under international law, namely the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which it is a signatory.

The University of British Columbia has a moral obligation to take a stand in support of the rights and sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en nation. We call on you to speak out and send a strong signal that these sovereign rights are recognized and supported by the University.

The undersigned

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Statement From Rainforest Action Network In Solidarity With Unist’ot’en Camp and Wet’suwet’en Leadership

Outrageous human rights abuses in the name of corporate profits have to stop — and Rainforest Action Network stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ in their peaceful efforts to protect their territories this week against destruction and violent enforcement tactics.

The British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision in December to grant TransCanada’s injunction against the Unist’ot’en Camp is yet another violation of Indigenous rights in the name of greed and regressive energy policy. And we strongly condemn the Canadian government’s militarized enforcement of that injunction this week.

Furthermore, RAN denounces the massive financial support from the banks that are funding TransCanada, allowing for the continued construction of incredibly dangerous projects, including the Coastal GasLink and Keystone XL pipeline, that will not only exacerbate our climate change crisis but are also currently driving Indigenous rights violations. TransCanada does not have the collective free, prior, and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. All of the five Wet’suwet’en Clans have rejected TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline.....

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Statement on the situation in Wet’suwet’en First Nation

We as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans are writing to express our concern and distress about disturbing events in Wet’suwet’en land this past week. Specifically, we are concerned about the arrests at the Gitdimt’en checkpoint on Monday, January 7th, 2019. Our concern is threefold: 1) This action willfully ignores the right of the Wet’suwet’en People to free, prior, and informed consent as is their inherent right and as delineated throughout the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2) This action willfully ignores the authority of the traditional hereditary leadership of the Wet’suwet’en People, and 3) The use of this type of unnecessary and violent force to dismantle the checkpoint and arrest and incarcerate land defenders demonstrates a dedicated disregard for the fundamental principles of Indigenous Rights.....

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz

Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Anglican Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. Barbara Andrews
Bishop of the Territory of the People, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. David Lehmann
Bishop of Caledonia, Anglican Church of Canada

The Most Rev. Melissa Skelton
Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon, Anglican Church of Canada

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Kent Monkman Studio‏

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Unist'ot'en Solidarity in Langford [Action Blocking Highway 14, RCMP and John Horgan Office]…

Indigenous and settler supporters of the Unist'ot'en Camp blocked Highway 14, the Westshore RCMP building, and John Horgan's Constituency Office in Langford. (Esquimalt and Songees Territories, January 16)

We stand with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en who have said NO to pipeline developments in their territories. We stand in solidarity as they assert their indigenous laws and resist repression from RCMP, BC NDP and Federal Government. Solidarity with Unist'ot'en Camp and Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory

Press release for this action:


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Protesters block Nova Scotia’s Hwy 102 in support of B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Supporters in Nova Scotia blocked a portion of Highway 102 on Tuesday morning to demonstrate solidarity with anti-pipeline protests in British Columbia.

Protesters say they were holding a peaceful protest, which took place near Exit 10 at Shubenacadie, N.S.

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When Indigenous Assert Rights, Canada Sends Militarized Police

The use of heavily armed RCMP to enforce a court injunction and tear down an Indigenous blockade against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northwestern British Columbia last week was part of a familiar pattern, say criminologists.

“It seems like Canada uses a show of force and police repression whenever it wants to contain First Nations exercising their aboriginal rights and title,” said Shiri Pasternak, a criminologist at Ryerson University and director of the Yellowhead Institute, a research centre focused on First Nations land and governance issues.

“Canada is creating the problem by refusing to recognize what its own courts are saying about aboriginal rights and title,” added Pasternak.

Over the last decade rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts have established that Canadian governments have a duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous people before resources are extracted from their land, and that in many cases their land and title rights have not been extinguished.


Jeffrey Monaghan, a criminology professor at Carleton University who co-authored Policing Indigenous Movements: Dissent and the Security State with Andrew Crosby said the dismantling of the Wet’suwet’en blockade was intended to send a national message.

“It was very carefully choreographed to communicate to the national audience that any protests against oil and gas pipelines are going to be cracked down upon. I think it was highly symbolic. Police action doesn’t stop with the Wet’suwet’en,” said Monaghan.

He added that the Canadian government has expanded its security apparatus and normalized the police surveillance of social movements in recent years, including First Nations defending their land and title rights.

And the use of the RCMP to enforce court injunctions has become a routine practice.


Governments and companies first deny the existence of Aboriginal rights and title, she said.

When that fails, they recognize the rights but engage in negotiations to contain them. And if that doesn’t end the protests, the state will employ police force for pacification, she said.

In the process the protesters are often portrayed as “lawless Indigenous protesters, when it is really the state engaging in lawless behaviour,” said Pasternak.

She said the late aboriginal leader Arthur Manuel often described court injunctions as “legal Billy clubs.”

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Scene from this month’s RCMP teardown of the Unist’ot’en blockade of a proposed pipeline route. Photo by Michael Toledano.

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Unist’ot’en: Unceded. Undefeated.


January 17, 2019: Following a landmark press conference yesterday, with the support of leaders from all over “BC”, the Wet’suwet’en and Unist’ot’en remain steadfast in the determination that we will be successful in halting the toxic Coastal GasLink pipeline, and all that threaten the health and safety of unceded and unsurrended territories. Over 200 packed the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers for the press conference to hear from Chiefs, Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en members. A demonstration took place afterwards with large numbers in support. (Full video of the Press Conference here) There have also been tens of thousands of supporters demonstrating in solidarity actions around the world.

Some of you may be thinking we’ve lost. That we’ve made an agreement with industry. That we are bending, conceding, giving up. This is not true. We will never give up. There will be no pipelines on our Yin’tah. The Unist’ot’en have never been defeated. We will win this fight, and we will do it with integrity and honour, as we have always done.

Our hereditary chiefs witnessed the brutality of the RCMP at 44. The militarized police force. The snipers and automatic weapons. Canada came to our territories poised for battle. They came to invade us for industry.

Unist’ot’en yin’tah is a place of healing. It is home to Wet’suwet’en people seeking refuge from colonial trauma. People recovering from addiction. People reconnecting with the land. Our chiefs love our people and want them to thrive. We would not send our ill and healing people to war. We would not tell our people to fight on a day of mourning.

CGL and RCMP have twisted our words and misrepresented our intentions. They raided our land one day and showed up offering protection the next. We do not trust them. They are liars, and bullies, and colonizers, and thieves. But we are not like them. We know what we are doing is right.

We follow our laws and protocols. We respect each other. We are up against a heartless company and a faceless state. CGL dismantled the gate on a funeral day. RCMP blocked the road so we could not attend the funeral or feast. We gathered together, held each other up. This is what we do in the face of violence and oppression. We remember our teachings. This is why we are still here, still strong, still fighting. We learn from the land how to be resilient, how to grow. We turn to our story as Wet’suwet’en people, we turn to our culture and our laws. We know that is where our power lies.

We don’t need their guns or their money. We have the land and the water and the animals and all our relations. We don’t need their court orders and police enforcement. We have our Indigenous neighbours and relatives standing beside us. We don’t need their threats and intimidation. We have the strength of our ancestors within us. We don’t need their force and their violence. We have governed ourselves sustainably since time immemorial. We are still here. We are still fighting. This is not over.

We trust our hereditary chiefs. We trust our elders. We listen to them. We trust our systems of governance, which have lasted thousands of years and will last for thousands more. We respect the land.

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$201,758 of $350,000 goal

Raised by 3,630 people in 1 month

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Canada versus First Nations: Whose land is it anyway?


The extinguishing of Indigenous rights

During a press conference on January 9 following the arrest of Unist'ot'en land protectors by the RCMP, BC Premier John Horgan offered that, “The challenge for governments, federal and provincial, is determining how we bring together the historic band council model [of governance] with... the emerging hereditary model that’s very much manifesting itself on Wet’suwet’en territory.”

Hayden King, executive director at the Yellowhead Institute at Ryerson University and a member of the Beausoleil First Nation, says statements like these erase thousands of years of history. He says the elected band council system that was imposed under the Indian Act and designed to mimic the Canadian system, ignores traditional First Nations governance models that were in place before.

“Those who say, ‘Hey, but what about the band council? They all approved this,’ are really using that as an alibi to justify this intervention.”


Rethinking Canada's relationship to First Nations 

Jeff Corntassel, a faculty member of the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Victoria and a member of the Cherokee Nation, says that what’s happening on Wet’suet’en territory is an act of Indigenous resurgence. 

“It’s a turning away from the state, but it’s also revitalizing and regenerating those connections to territory, language and community that need to happen in order for future generations to thrive,” he says. 

Corntassel says it’s important to step away from the legal aspects and remember that these are people exercising autonomy in the face of acute pressure. 

“These are real acts of resurgence going on and they will be long remembered. They will not be forgotten.”

For Tait, the hope is that what’s happening with the Wet’suet’en First Nation will force Canadians to rethink how they want their government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples to look.

“The path forward is some deference for the fact that our people have maintained and managed these territories for millennia and we’ve done so in a responsible way that ensured that they were here intact for the current generations,” Tait says. “That’s our charge for the future generations – it’s built into our Anuk Nu’at’en, our Wet’suet’en law."

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