NDP BC invades sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory, RCMP arrest defenders

698 posts / 0 new
Last post

Lieutenant Governor Reads Throne Speech As Protestors Gather Outside


"...Saul Brown, a Wet'suwet'en supporter told the crowd that demonstrators were prepared to be arrested. 'This is a day of reckoning' with Canada's history of colonialism,' he said. 'We must hold our elected officials accountable...let's do better as a nation.' Premier John Horgan cancelled a planned afternoon media availability to discuss the throne speech. The NDP had a regular caucus meeting, but the traditional prorogation of the previous sitting, which involves the lieutenant-governor nodding assent was cancelled.

Organizers say they want to show the government they have the power to shut the country down. 'It will be far costlier for you to force this project through than to revoke the permits from Coastal GasLink,' said Kolin Sutherlland-Wilson, addressing Premier John Horgan. Sutherland-Wilson said demonstrators are demanding the immediate removal of the RCMP officers and Coastal GasLink employees from Wet'suwet'en territory in northern [not] BC. The next step is fair, nation-to-nation consultations between the government and hereditary chiefs, he said.

'What we're asking is that Premier Horgan order the RCMP to stand down immediately and exit the land they're trespassing, and for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enter into a nation-to-nation engagement with hereditary chiefs who have jurisdiction in Wet'suwet'en territory,' said Derek Menard..."


"RBC is managing the $6.2 B sale of the majority stake in Coastal GasLink, which RCMP are raiding Wet'suwet'en camps on behalf of..."



"Without Indigenous rights, climate rights are not achievable. Without Indigenous land-defenders we're screwed. They're on the frontlines,' [Victoria] youth climate activist Grace Sinats said. 'Without them we would not have a movement. They've been fighting [for it] since before any of us were born."


Wise words...

Sean in Ottawa

As I understand it there is a conflict between the elected council and the Hereditary Chiefs. This is explained in this article:


I understand some of the issues but not a solution. There seems to be a real paradox.

I understand that the Hereditary system of government was not given up so it necessarily speaks for the community -- but the people keep electing band governments that are not on the same page and they too represent the community. How can you ignore either the Hereditary Chief system of government and their decisions or how can you ignore the results of elections for the Band Council?

This is not a unique problem in the world when "democracy" is forced on to a community that has an existing system of government. The act of forcing a system is illegitinate but when you consider the result of a vote in the community, you cannot wish it away or ignore it despite the process. The act of voting is an expression of the will of the people.

Setting aside whatever we (on this site) want, feel or support when it comes to the pipeline from an environmental point of view, the decision rests with the community. Both the Hereditay Chiefs traditional government and the elected band council represent the community and they disagree fundamentally over this pipeline.

To complicate matters the elected council represents a direct voice from the community in an obviously democratic way, but the existence of this democratic decision is the product of colonial enforcment over a traditional goverance. This democratic institution was forced on this nation which did not willingly give up its traditional government. But having had elections in which the people voted, there is a result that cannot be swept aside either with respect to the individuals who voted.

A problem is that legitimate or not the elected council has an obvious authority from the people who have voted more than once for a council that supports the project and so this council has some legitimacy. The electoral result is difficult to ignore even if you wish to say the vote should not have happened and the traditional governance whould not have been disturbed.

While we have participation in the elections and a council making decisions we also do not have a clear will from the people to abandon the traditional governance model. Both exist side by side. The people did speak through the election even if this is something that represents a colonial intrusion. 

Apart from the obvious lessons regarding imposed governing models through colonialism which created this problem you do not have a path to a real consensus. 

As well behind these community deicions you have the position the community is in. Those supporting a project like this are often doing so out of impossible positions where they are in economic difficulty due to injustice. Support for this project comes from people saying that they need the economic benefits. Of course we would prefer to see them make decisions like this without the context of economic injustice and desperation forced on the community. But wher that exists and we admit it is wrong -- how is an elected decision making body not able to make decisons in the interests of the community to mitigate this situation? 

I am hoping to hear some ideas on this problem from others rather than just a blast from people supporting one side or the other. I do not think that we outside the community have the authority to ignore either the elected voice of the community or the traditional governance of it. How do we make and express an opinion without taking any of this into account?

How is commentary taking a side here about a community that is divided not in itself an interference? And how can people comment wihtout a conflict of interest as all Canadians have?




Each of the 2 forms of government have their specific functions...the Band Councils are responsible for administration of the Indian Act, and funds allocated...within the specific designated community of reserve sites....the Office of the Hereditary chiefs is responsible for the traditional territories and their various 5 clans, that is the traditional wetsuweten territory through which the pipeline transverses....


Everyone must make up their own minds on this, obviously. I support Indigenous sovereignty. Period.


Ottawa 'Very Concerned' About Blockades as CN Rail Says It Will Close 'Significant' Parts of Its Network


"Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the federal government is 'very concerned' about growing anti-pipeline protests that are crippling parts of the country's transport network, including one of the main rail arteries in Southern Ontario. JJ Ruest, the president and CEO of CN Rail said in a statement Tuesday - the railwy has no choice but to temporarily shutter 'significant' parts of its network because blockades by Indigenous protesters near Belleville Ontario and New Hazelton BC, have made train movements to the rest of the country all but impossible.

Ruest said the protests threaten industry across the country, including the transport of food and consumer items, grain, de-icing fluid at airports, construction materials, propane to Quebec and Atlantic Canada and natural resources like lumber, aluminum and coal. Ruest said the impact of the blockades are 'being felt beyond Canada's borders and is harming the country's reputation as a stable and viable supply chain partner.' Tyendinaga Mohawk members said Tuesday they won't end their demonstration until the RCMP leaves the traditional territory at the Wet'suwet'en. Marc Garneau [Min of Transport] said the continuing disruptions will undoubtedly damage the economy...'The government of Canada is seized of the issue. We'd like to resolve it as quickly as possible..."


It is very simple. The band counsels have no jurisdiction over the land that the pipeline is being built on. The SCC has already acknowledged these particular traditional clans as the rightful holders of the rights inherent to indigenous title over this very unceded territory. The term hereditary is misleading since it is the title that is inherited so it is not a bloodline designation but a designation that the community bestows on individuals according to its laws and traditions. The title and authority to speak as the hereditary chief can and has been revoked by the Haida when a hereditary chief supported a pipeline project. The traditional chiefs claim no jurisdiction over the municipal affairs of the postage stamp reserves, some of which are not even on the pipeline route, it is for them to make their own deals and accept the gifts/bribes that the pipeline companies come bearing.

So think of it as two different spheres of responsibility. A band counsels job has always been to try and get housing and clean water and other services out of the Indian Act agents. That is what they run for office to do and that is their role so if a company comes knocking on the doors of a small band with $10,000,000 for doing nothing why would they not say sure we'll take your money. Now the hereditary chiefs have a far, far different role that they laid out to the courts and was accepted as the proper legal tradition governing the vast territories that have not been ceded. Those Chiefs are sworn into positions that have been passed down for millennia and those positions are all about protecting the land and allocation of harvesting areas among clan members.

The traditional Supreme Court of Canada recognized legal system has a mechanism for removing the anti-pipeline chiefs if they did not speak for their clans . Since they have the regalia and the clan names to make claim to speak as Land Defenders then I respect their law and traditions until their own people say no they do not speak for us by removing them from their leadership roles.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

It is very simple. The band counsels have no jurisdiction over the land that the pipeline is being built on. The SCC has already acknowledged these particular traditional clans as the rightful holders of the rights inherent to indigenous title over this very unceded territory. The term hereditary is misleading since it is the title that is inherited so it is not a bloodline designation but a designation that the community bestows on individuals according to its laws and traditions. The title and authority to speak as the hereditary chief can and has been revoked by the Haida when a hereditary chief supported a pipeline project. The traditional chiefs claim no jurisdiction over the municipal affairs of the postage stamp reserves, some of which are not even on the pipeline route, it is for them to make their own deals and accept the gifts/bribes that the pipeline companies come bearing.

So think of it as two different spheres of responsibility. A band counsels job has always been to try and get housing and clean water and other services out of the Indian Act agents. That is what they run for office to do and that is their role so if a company comes knocking on the doors of a small band with $10,000,000 for doing nothing why would they not say sure we'll take your money. Now the hereditary chiefs have a far, far different role that they laid out to the courts and was accepted as the proper legal tradition governing the vast territories that have not been ceded. Those Chiefs are sworn into positions that have been passed down for millennia and those positions are all about protecting the land and allocation of harvesting areas among clan members.

The traditional Supreme Court of Canada recognized legal system has a mechanism for removing the anti-pipeline chiefs if they did not speak for their clans . Since they have the regalia and the clan names to make claim to speak as Land Defenders then I respect their law and traditions until their own people say no they do not speak for us by removing them from their leadership roles.

Thanks for this explanation - it was very helpful.


If anyone really wants to understand I suggest they you go back to this thread and read some Arthur Manuel. This book is the best primer on indigneous rights. The fight for UNDRIP started in Port Alberni BC over fifty years ago.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Tyendinaga Rail Blockade requesting all out to the front lines

The OPP have told the Mohawks occupying the rail crossing on Wyman Rd that they will be enforcing the injunction but not when. They are asking for supporters to gather at the rail blockade in support of the Wet’suwet’en and against the actions of the RCMP and OPP.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..includes a short video

Youth have just walked out of meeting with Bennett after she failed to offer anything but the same colonial and capitalist agenda, refusing to remove RCMP from Wet’suwet’en Territory. She draws blinds to her office as youth yell “RCMP: Racist Corporate Money Protectors!”


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Church leaders unite to support B.C. pipeline protest

Two Manitoba bishops are among 71 Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran and United Church of Canada leaders and others from across Canada showing support for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs protesting the $6-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline that will go through their traditional territory.

Both The Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Rupertsland, and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, signed the solidarity statement that calls on the Canadian government and the RCMP "to immediately cease their occupation, arrests, and trespassing on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territory."

The statement, goes on to note "these unlawful occupations and tactics violate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" and violate the wishes of the Wet’suwet’en Clan Chiefs who "hold sole title to their unceded territory and unanimously do not support the construction of the pipeline."

It goes on to say the pipeline project would mar the landscape, cut down trees, harm migration patterns of animals, and put the entire watershed at risk of a leak and contamination.

"We are deeply concerned about the militarized arrests, pressure and trespassing presence of the RCMP on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territory," it states, adding this treats "Indigenous peoples like prisoners on their own territory."

The statement concludes by noting the pipeline not only tramples on the rights of Indigenous Nations, but endangers "our collective wellbeing and future."....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 10, 2020

Reporters Without Borders

Canada: RCMP Must Respect the Rights of Journalists to Cover Indigenous Protests

WASHINGTON - Beginning on February 6, journalists have reported that police were detaining and threatening to arrest those covering the RCMP's activity toward environmental and indigenous rights protesters in the Wet'suwet'en territory of British Columbia, where police were attempting to enforce the injunction a court granted at the end of 2019 to allow pipeline company workers access to the territory unhindered. At least one journalist was detained by police, put in a police car and driven off the territory, while police told another reporter he would be arrested if he didn't leave the injunction zone. Protesters have gathered to support members of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation who oppose the construction of a gas pipeline through their territory.

The RCMP's actions are in contravention of a March 2019 landmark court decision that reaffirmed special considerations apply to journalists covering protests even in injunction zones, with considerations including whether the person is engaged in “good faith” journalistic coverage, is not interfering with law enforcement or actively assisting protesters, and if the information is of the public interest. The justice who made this decision noted the importance of media coverage of indigenous issues, stating that “particular consideration should be given to protests involving Aboriginal issues.” Last year, RSF voiced similar concerns about the RCMP's attempts to block press access to environmental protests led by members of Wet'suwet'en First Nation.

“Canadian journalists have a right to be present during indigenous rights protests, and the RCMP has shown a blatant disregard to the constitutionally guaranteed free press,” said Dokhi Fassihian, Executive Director of RSF's North America bureau. “The protests happening in the Wet'suwet'en territory are critically important to the public interest, and court precedent acknowledges the importance of media coverage of issues related to Canada's indigenous population.”.......

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..14hrs ago

HAPPENING NOW: Kjipuktuk / Halifax blockade of port in north end

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..feb 9

ILWU Local 502 approached our barricade with a message of solidarity and told us they will not cross our picket line. There would normally be 300 workers at the Deltaport, but not today – the port is closed!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Exclusion zone in Wet’suwet’en territory runs counter to UNDRIP commitments

The Hospital Employees’ Union is committed to human rights and to the social justice principles contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In the spirit of this international commitment, we urge all levels of government and the RCMP to renew dialogue with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership.

Efforts to renew negotiations are undermined by the continued enforcement of an exclusion zone which denies access by the Wet’suwet’en people to their traditional and unceded territories, prevents media from providing transparent coverage on developments, and which increases the likelihood of further escalation and violence.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..also from the heu from jan 28, 2019

Path forward with Wet’suwet’en must respect established rights and obligations

The 49,000-member Hospital Employees’ Union is committed to the application of social justice principles in our workplaces and communities, and stands strongly opposed to the violation of human rights.

HEU joins with other unions and civil society organizations in expressing our deep concern at the situation that unfolded earlier this month at the Gidimt’en gate in the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en people in northern British Columbia.

The gate had been maintained in support of the long-standing Unist’ot’en Camp and Healing Centre where hereditary chiefs are opposing the development of Coastal Gaslink’s pipeline project in their territory.

As a rights’ seeking organization, we are alarmed that peaceful protests by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs against pipeline development, along with the freedom of the press to cover those events, were impeded through the actions of the RCMP.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

SSJC Letter to Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau re: Attacks on Indigenous Sovereignty at Wet’suwet’en

February 7, 2020

Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau:

On behalf of the members of the Teaching Support Staff Union’s (TSSU) Solidarity and Social Justice Committee, we write to express condemnation of your governments’ attack on Indigenous sovereignty and your own legislation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in regards to the Unist’ot’en camp on Wet’suwet’en territory.

As an organisation dedicated to upholding fairness and rights, we see your (in)actions on this matter as a violation of not Canadian and Wet’suwet’en law, but all of the statements you have made regarding the building of equality for Indigenous communities and commitments to reconciliation. Furthermore, Premier Horgan, your (in)actions on this matter are in direct violation of your words put forward regarding the implementation of the UNDRIP through Bill 41. Similar to other commissions, reports, and legislative attempts, the failure of this initiative is being enacted through your collusion with industries like Coastal GasLink and the RCMP. The pushing through of this pipeline through occupied territories without consent, despite your reconciliatory statements, destroy trust and undermine the hard work of Indigenous communities and individuals who have been committed to this work and change.

Premier Horgan’s claim that the government’s actions were in accordance with, and in protection of, Canadian law is foundationally wrong. As plaintiffs in the landmark Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa proceeding, the Supreme Court of Canada held that Wet’suwet’en title to lands has never been extinguished. Canadian courts have subsequently confirmed that governments and companies must seek the consent of Indigenous titleholders before proceeding with the development of traditional territories. The Province has undermined the Hereditary Chiefs’ authority throughout this entire project by funding and supporting new entities, and consulting those who lack jurisdiction over these territories. Furthermore, the consultation process undertaken by Coastal GasLink has not considered the legitimacy of the power held by hereditary Chiefs, choosing only to consider the voices of elected Chiefs who are part of an imposed government system. This is in violation of the Indian Act, which clearly states that elected Chiefs have jurisdiction only over reserve lands, while hereditary Chiefs have jurisdiction over and stewardship of the traditional territory. Thereby, the rights of the five hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nations include the right to use, manage, possess land, and to decide how the land will be used. 

Moreover, these (in)actions go against both the BC Provincial and Federal Governments’ commitments to address climate change. It is part of a recently-approved $40 billion fracked gas project LNG Canada that is the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history. The NDP provincial government announced tax breaks for this liquefied natural gas (LNG) project even though the biggest driver of climate change in the province over the coming decades will be from the LNG industry. All the Wet’suwet’en Clans have rejected the Coastal GasLink pipeline due to the catastrophic and irreversible impact of fracking on waterways, land, food systems, and cultural practices. According to Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en Hereditary Spokesperson, “The land is not separate from us. The land sustains us. And if we don’t take care of her, she won’t be able to sustain us, and we as a generation of people will die.”

Coastal GasLink’s use of the Canadian legal system and the RCMP against Indigenous peoples is counter to the narrative of reconciliation your governments are using, as well as the UNDRIP, of which Canada is a signatory. In fact, the actions of the Wet’suwet’en to protect their territory from the environmental impacts of this project and their defense of the rights are more productive towards meeting the stated goals of the governments. Their direct actions in standing against the creation of pipelines that support fracking and environmental harm across BC shows a far-reaching recognition of the immediate actions that need to be taken to meet climate change goals made by Canadian governments and international accords.....


Solidarity & Social Justice Committee

Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU)


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU)

Independent, Non-hierarchical, Directly Democratic and Feminist Since 1978

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour stands in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders

Members of the RCMP arrested seven individuals outside the Unist’ot’en healing centre Monday during the fifth day of enforcing a court-ordered injunction against members of the Wet’suwe’ten and their supporters blocking access to work sites for the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Arresting land defenders, their supporters and raiding their camps is not the answer when people work to defend their rights in Canada. People have the right to peaceful protest.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline, which will run through their traditional, unceded territory has seen the land defenders at the Wet’suwet’en camps peacefully protecting the territory in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. The RCMP says it is enforcing an injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink, but the justification and the legality are still in question.

The Wet’suwet’en have never ceded their land. And under Wet’suwet’en law, hereditary chiefs of five clans have authority over the nation’s 22,000 square kilometres of unceded territory. The hereditary chiefs have repeatedly opposed Coastal GasLink.

The labour movement is no stranger to seeing governments invoke laws to suppress workers’ rights. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs issued an eviction notice to Coastal GasLink for violating Wet’suwet’en trespassing laws, but it seems they are not entitled to the same rights as corporations.

The Wet’suwet’en people have inherent Indigenous rights and title that must be recognized and respected. Therefore, we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en land defenders in their struggle and support that all parties find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

RAMA is a grassroots migrant justice group that strives to support the approximately 5,000 Latin American and Caribbean “temporary” migrant farmworkers in the Okanagan Valley in their ongoing struggle for dignity, community, and humanity. Our aim is to be worker-led and to respond to the needs identified by migrant workers as they arise. Ultimately, our intention is for migrant workers themselves to name and direct our priorities.

In Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Peoples

We are writing to express our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Peoples’ defense of traditional territories and resistance against Coastal Gaslink, who have encroached on sovereign lands without authorization or consent.

In our work with migrant farm workers, we recognize that most of the people we work with also come from colonized contexts, and we seek to address systemic racism, colonialism, and capitalism which are the foundations of all of our common struggles.

We urge the colonial government of British Columbia to honour and enforce the rights recognized in the 1997 Delgamuukw ruling regarding rights and title to unceded ancestral territories, and to honour the principles laid out by UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the BC Government was one of the first to sign in affirmation of the rights and titles of Indigenous nations in BC.

We condemn the violent invasion of Wet’suwet’en lands by RCMP, and any attempts by Coastal Gaslink to usurp the rights and authority of the protectors at Unist’ot’en.

Wet’suwet’en land defenders are on the front lines of the struggle against colonial violence and capitalist oppression that has been ongoing for hundreds of years.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

BC Federation of Labour Statement on the Situation in Wet’suwet’en Territory

On January 14th, 2020 the BC Federation of Labour called on the RCMP to step back and allow for government to government dialogue to address the concerns raised by Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, in an effort to find mutual solutions to the complex issues constituting this dispute.

Since that time the RCMP did indeed step back, which allowed for government-to-government relations to attempt renewed discussion and negotiation, including formal discussions mediated by Nathan Cullen between Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Province.

Unfortunately, those discussions broke off and renewed RCMP action to enforce Coastal Gas Link’s court injunction have ensued, resulting in multiple new arrests on Wet’suwet’en lands and increased confrontation.

Despite the inability of recent discussions to resolve outstanding issues, the BC Federation of Labour continues to support a negotiated settlement to this dispute and urgently calls for renewed negotiations to find a mutual solution in the spirit of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

GWU Montreal solidarity statement with the Wet’suwet’en

Game Workers Unite Montreal offers our support and solidarity to defenders of Wet’suwet’en lands against the violence and invasion of their lands by the RCMP at the command of Coastal GasLink. Too often, Indigenous peoples are forced to defend their lands and ways of living from the colonial tactics of resource extraction industries.

As workers in the video game industry, we are intrinsically tied to the energy and mining industries. The technology we use to create and publish our work uses up vast amounts of electricity and is built with materials mined in hazardous, environmentally degrading, and exploitative conditions. It is essential that we remain critical of our own industry and constantly understand the place of our own workplace struggles amongst the broader struggle against extractive capitalism.

Wet’suwet’en lands have never been surrendered to the Crown. Despite settler colonial laws being imposed on the Wet'suwet'en people by the Canadian government through the Indian Act, their governance systems have been sustained since time immemorial and stand in defiance against a colonial policy of assimilation and genocide. The sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en people was affirmed and their territory recognized as sovereign land by the Canadian Crown in the Nisga’a Treaty in the Delgamuukw v British Columbia Supreme Court case of 1997. In 2019, the BC provincial government adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into law. BC premier John Horgan expressed that the conflict imposed by RCMP onto Wet’suwet’en peoples should not be emblematic of the overall legacy of UNDRIP. Furthermore, he stated the hereditary chiefs do not have a right to deny access to their own lands, nor engage in nation-to-nation talks with the Canadian government.

Canadians were appalled at the violence inflicted by the RCMP at the Gidimt’en checkpoint in January of 2019. 14 peaceful demonstrators were needlessly arrested by a heavily armed RCMP task force that intended to tear down the checkpoint. Later in the year, The Guardian reported that in strategy meetings the RCMP argued that “lethal overwatch” was required for the sting. Officers were instructed to “use as much violence towards the gate as you want” and a memo indicated arrests would be necessary to “sterilize the site.” Since the Hereditary Chiefs issued their eviction notice to CGL on January 4th 2020, the RCMP has enforced a no-fly zone over Wet’suwet’en territory, and witnesses confirmed on January 12th that 16 RCMP members departed a private jet in Smithers BC. These actions seem to indicate that the RCMP does not think it needs to act in good faith with the Wet’suwet’en......


epaulo13 wrote:

BC Federation of Labour Statement on the Situation in Wet’suwet’en Territory

On January 14th, 2020 the BC Federation of Labour called on the RCMP to step back and allow for government to government dialogue to address the concerns raised by Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, in an effort to find mutual solutions to the complex issues constituting this dispute.

So are they implying that the RCMP was impeding the B.C. government's wholesome efforts? 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Solidarity Statement in support of Unist’ot’en Camp and the Wet’suwet’en Nation

The BC Teachers’ Federation reaffirms our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation. As a union committed to the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we call on the governments of BC and Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Coastal GasLink Pipeline to respect the position taken by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. They are insisting upon respect for Indigenous sovereignty as they have never ceded their jurisdiction to the lands they have governed and have been stewards of for millennia. All five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals. Forcibly removing peaceful land defenders from their traditional unceded lands is in violation of the UN Declaration.

Our provincial government recently passed a bill that states they will honor the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Actions speaks louder than empty promises that First Peoples have faced for decades. If the leaders of our province and country are truly committed to reconciliation and honouring the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, then immediate action is required. Elected leaders must act now by negotiating with the respected leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation who hold the inherent right to self-determination including the right to defend their lands.

The 45,000 members of the BC Teachers’ Federation stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en peoples and demand that the government of BC and Canada uphold their responsibilities laid out in the Supreme Court Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision of 1997. We stand as witnesses at this historic moment when our governments must make a choice to uphold this court decision or continue the ongoing legacy of colonization.

In solidarity,

BC Teachers’ Federation 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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


“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.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Elementary Educators @ETFOeducators

ETFO is a union committed to public education, social justice and equity. We represent over 83,000 elementary teachers and education workers across Ontario.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Statement on Wet’suwet’en Conflict

The Graduate Students Association at Carleton University, along with the undersigned individuals and organizations belonging to the Carleton community call for the withdrawal of the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territories and a peaceful resolution to the conflict currently taking place in British Columbia.

As members of the Carleton University community, we are fully committed to supporting Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination not only under Indigenous legal orders of the Wet’suwet’en, but also the Principles set out within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as Article III of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We are concerned with the current and ongoing unchecked actions of the RCMP including setting up exclusionary zones on Wet’suwet’en territory, the forceful and violent removal of Indigenous land defenders, and the restriction of the free press on this matter.

Any further actions taken by the RCMP is a threat to reconciliation and the mending of relationships between Indigenous people and the canadian state. We, the undersigned, call on the RCMP to remove themselves from Wet’suwet’en territory. We additionally call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BC Premiere John Horgan, and Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General David Lametti to meet with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to resolve this conflict.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

BCGEU https://bcgeu.ca/bcgeu_statement_on…

UFCW https://ufcw1518.com/update/topnews/statement-of-solidarity-with-the-wetsuweten-facing-forced-removal-from-their-territory/…

"The OCAD University Faculty Association stands in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en" http://ocadfa.ca/statement-of-solidarity-unistoten-camp-and-the-wetsuweten-nation/…

The York University Graduate Students' Association (@YUGSA84) published a statement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders in January http://yugsa.ca/yugsa-executive-committee-supports-wetsuweten-land-defenders/…

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..last night. short video.

Here in #Vancouver, it’s ten o’clock at night and one of the city’s biggest intersections is filled with drumming, song, a fire, sage, several hundred people, and love. This is what a movement looks like.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


Wet'suwet'en Raids Spell Trouble For BC NDP


"Like Idle No More in 2013, the battle for Wet'suwet'en land has set events in motion no government can control. When Premier John Horgan [and Justin Trudeau] refused to negotiate with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, he set off a chain of events that force us to confront the issue underlying everything else in this province: who decides what happens on Indigenous land?

People waiting for the unrest to taper off may be waiting a while. This month North Vancouver MP and federal environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson is likely to approve Teck Frontier, the largest open-pit oil sands mine in history. Key to the Liberals oil sands expansion is the $16-billion publicly funded Trans Mountain pipeline.

Centrist politicians like Justin Trudeau and John Horgan have two choices: put the brakes on oil and gas expansion (and take a shellacking in the mainstream press). Or crack down on Wet'suwet'en supporters. But arresting dozens even hundreds may not break their resolve - indeed it could galvanize others to take action.

In his final book, The Reconciliation Manifesto, the late Arthur Manuel urges Indigenous people to look to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. 'Our battle must be as intense as the fight against racism in the American south and against apartheid in South Africa [and Apartheid Israel when?]', wrote the Secwepemc author, strategist and political leader. 'Self determination on our traditional lands is the only solution to colonialism..."

We Demand Immediate Withdrawl of CGL From Wetsuweten Territory, dismissal of all charges against defenders and supporters, and the immediate arrangement of nation-to-nation talks between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan with a view to recognition and implementation of Wet'suwet'en sovereignty and jurisdiction. As well neither CGL nor Trans Mountain nor the Teck mine are acceptable at this time of acute planetary climate emergency and must be abandoned.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Indigenous youth are rising up in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

While strong winds and chilling rain swept through Lekwungen territories in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday evening, Indigenous youth remained steadfast in their determination for justice for the Wet’suwet’en. February 6 was the first day of what would become an ongoing, Indigenous youth-led occupation of the ceremonial gates and steps to the B.C. Legislative Assembly. Indigenous youth are camping out on the steps of the building in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who are now on their sixth day of resisting a violent RCMP invasion of their sovereign territories. 

“We as Indigenous youth are occupying because we understand that what the Wet’suwet’en are doing protects our collective future” explains 19-year-old Ta'Kaiya Blaney of Tla’amin Nation. “If Canada is willing to exercise lethal overwatch, shoot and kill Indigenous land defenders to push a pipeline through, that sets a precedent for all Indigenous nations around the world. We are not anti-pipeline protesters. This is about us defending Indigenous lands and Indigenous sovereignty.”.....



UN Orders Canada To Halt Work On Trans Mountain Pipeline

Image source: TransMountain.com


Blue River BC — A new United Nations report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline until informed consent is obtained from the Secwepemc people.

“Now it is clear to the whole world every minute that Canada continues construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline is a violation of the basic human rights of Indigenous people.”

That was how land and water defender Kanahus Manuel responded to the newly released United Nations report that has denounced Canada’s major resource projects on Indigenous lands saying they could “cause irreparable harm to indigenous peoples rights, culture, lands, territories and way of life.”

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was also, “disturbed by the forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment and intimidation by law enforcement officials against indigenous peoples who peacefully oppose” the large-scale development projects and committee members were “alarmed by escalating threat of violence against indigenous peoples.”

Protests and the UN

“What is different about this UN report” says Manuel, “is they are not only condemning Canada, they are ordering that Canada cease major resource developments on Indigenous lands.”

Manuel, whose Tiny House Warriors have set up a village on the Trans Mountain Pipeline route near Blue River B.C., says this UN report clearly sets out Canada’s criminal actions against us.

The report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and to cancel all pipeline permits and permission, until free, prior and informed consent is obtained from all the Secwepemc people. The UN body also ordered Canada to cease work on the Site C dam and on “the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

The Human Rights Committee also condemned the “violent arrest and detainment” of Kanahus Manuel herself when her wrist was broken during a violent assault and arrest by RCMP officer at her home and protest site along the pipeline route.

Trans Mountain pipeline details

The Committee further demanded that Canada refrain from using force against Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.

Responding to the recent revelation with Trans Mountain pipeline that the RCMP was preparing to use “lethal force” against land protector, the UN ordered Canada to explicitly prohibit the use of lethal weapons by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, against indigenous peoples.

“This condemnation by the United Nations it a first step,” Manuel said. “We will now be calling on Human Rights organizations from around the world to come to our territory to monitor the situation. We are asking for the world to step in to help us to oppose the dirty oil pipeline on our land and to fight against Canada’s criminal behaviour.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


Cambie bridge shut down in #Vancouver. Solidarity action with #Wetsuweten@UnistotenCamp. Awesome to see so many settler allies out supporting


The Youth Are Rising: 'SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN!' (and vid)


See also #139

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..includes short video

Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Chief Jason Brant issues personal plea to demonstrators to end demonstration in support of Wet'suwet'en that has shut down one of Canada's busiest rail corridors for seven days.



A second camp has been set along the CN tracks in Tyendinaga

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Punjabi Sikh solidarity with Wet'suwet'en taking over the airwaves!

Tune in @SpiceRadioVan on Wednesday, February 12 at 9:30 am to listen to @jindisinghka on his group’s solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Myth of State Neutrality

We are taught at a very early age and socialized throughout our lives to respect and obey the rule of law. British Columbia Premier John Horgan recently invoked, rather infamously, the rule of law in justifying RCMP assaults on Wet’suwet’en defending their territory against imposition of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline (never mind that his rule of law erases recognition of Wet’suwet’en law on unceded Indigenous territory). Saskatchewan Premier Doug Moe too has invoked rule of law in suggesting that locked out workers, Unifor members in Regina, take down picket barriers at the Federated Co-op Ltd. Refinery (even as police assist scabs getting into and out of the workplace).

These appeals, and associated language such as “enforcing injunctions” seek to remove politics from crucial issues of social and environmental justice and Indigenous sovereignty. They attempt to render issues of great ethical significance as simply legal or technical applications.

The notion of rule of law rests on an even deeper foundation – the notion of neutrality of the state. We are told that the state is an impartial, disinterested, neutral arbitrator. It takes no sides, only views and assesses evidence impartially and detached from specific interests. Serving only the rule of law, and thus, why it is granted these special powers.

In times of open labour conflict, strikes and lockouts, picket actions by workers at workplaces – as in Indigenous land struggles – we see perhaps most clearly, as everyday appearances are torn away, that the state is not neutral – it is an interested actor. And we can come to see that throughout Canadian history the state has taken sides, and it continues to do so.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Whose Land? Whose Laws? BC Needs To Change Its Name


"...Canada doesn't own this province, we've never surrendered it. It belongs to all native people in this province and their nations have to be recognized, not 'British Columbia.' The struggle of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs to assert sovereignty over their laws highlights the urgency of not only getting rid of 'British Columbia' but also having settlers in this province recognize that the lands they work and play on remain Indigenous, never ceded, never conquered. Unfortunately, some in the media seem intent on ignoring the important resurgence of Indigenous sovereignty despite the fact the BC and Canadian governments are facing a crisis of legitimacy. First Nations and their supporters are entirely right to engage in civil disobedience..."



While Canada roils in winter turmoil, Trudeau refuses  meeting with Hereditary Chiefs & takes a nice warm trip to the Caribbean instead...

Trudeau To Take UN Security Council Pitch To Caribbean Next Week


"Next stop the Carribean. That is where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be heading next week as he continues making his pitch for why Canada should have a seat on the United Nations Security Council. While Trudeau is expected to talk to Caribbean leaders about climate change, given the region's particular vulnerabilities to its impacts, the Security Council seat will also figure prominently..."


[Indigenous Law Prof Pamela Palmater]:  'No way that Justin Trudeau deserves a UN Security Council seat when Canada is guilty of genocide of Indigenous women and girls and allowed RCMP to invade homes of Wetsuweten in breech of human rights, Indigenous rights and UNDRIP laws that say no forced removal."


Tell Caribbean Leaders:  Say NO! to Trudeau Canada's UN Security Council bid:

[email protected]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..canada is on fire!

Anti-pipeline blockades continue to slow railway traffic


More than 150 freight trains have been idled since the blockades were set up last Thursday in British Columbia and Ontario.

Passenger rail services have also been affected in Ontario, Quebec and B.C., with Via Rail cancelling service on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto routes until at least the end of the day this Thursday because of a blockade near Belleville, Ont.

Chief executive JJ Ruest said the CN network gives the company limited parking space for its trains, which means traffic is backed up from Halifax to Windsor, Ont., and in parts of B.C. approaching Prince Rupert.

Via Rail said 157 passenger trains have been cancelled, affecting 24,500 travellers.

In addition to the service cancellations in Ontario, Via says a blockade near New Hazelton, B.C., also means normal rail service is being interrupted between Prince Rupert and Prince George.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he is working with his Ontario counterpart Caroline Mulroney to find a solution to the blockade in that province.

Ruest said CN Rail had to temporarily discontinue service in its key corridors because of the blockades.

"The impact is also being felt beyond Canada's borders and is harming the country's reputation as a stable and viable supply chain partner," he said in a statement.

In Victoria on Tuesday, demonstrators also disrupted the business of the B.C. legislature as Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin delivered the NDP government's throne speech.


The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, whose members typically load about 4,500 rail cars a day, urged government officials to work with police to restore service on the tracks.

"In Canada there's not really other alternatives to move stuff around. The highways and trucks — especially in Quebec and southern Ontario — are already at a very, very high utilization of available capacity," association president Dennis Darby said in an interview.

Stakeholders from chemical companies to Dannon Yogurt called this week to raise concerns, he said.

"They can't get their stuff out."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Sit-in at Trudeau’s office takes place in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Across Canada, students are mobilizing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia (BC) that is resisting a Coastal GasLink pipeline project. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided and arrested protestors late on Feb. 6, enforcing a Dec. 31 2019 Supreme Court ruling that granted Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction. On Feb. 7, McGill students organized a sit-in at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s constituency office in Villeray. 

Catie Galbraith, co-Chair of the Indigenous Student Alliance and member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, explained how the sit-in is part of larger resistance movements across Canada and the US. 

“We’re here sitting in today in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and all the other folks who are resisting the RCMP on their land, we’re here as part of a broader solidarity movement,” Galbraith said. “There’s been a number of Indigenous solidarity movements across Turtle Island, both in Canada and in the US, so we just wanted to do what little we can while we are […] here so far away [from B.C.]”

Ella, a recent McGill graduate and organizer of the sit-in,  described the planning and purposes of the demonstration. 

“[A sit-in] was the only thing I could do this morning, to be somewhere to show Canada somehow that I hate [Canadian authorities], or that I’m unhappy with how […] they are not listening to Indigenous folks,” Ella said. “I need to be here, I need to be somewhere [We] stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en peoples, and fuck the RCMP.”

Ella went on to explain that the sit-in was not a protest. 

“We’re not protestors,” Ella said.  “This is literally my life. I don’t protest. I don’t want my family to die, I don’t want my kin to die, I love my land, and I’m just done.” 


The Current: Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs Oppose Coastal GasLink Pipeline (CBC radio)


"Today on The Current: We discuss the opposition of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in BC, and the protests that have spread across the country...

'We are replaying Oka. We are replaying Gustafsen Lake. This is a historical and pivotal moment in Canadian history..."


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..trudeau's office


Topic locked