In 2007, the Wet'suwet'en people expressed a will to prevent all pipelines and in 2008 opted out of the B.C. treaty process to assert their rights and jurisdicition on the lands belonging to them. To this day, the Unist’ot’en territory remains relatively intact. The Unist’ot’en camp has been successful and no pipeline work has been done within Unist’ot’en territory. Several times, contractors from pipeline companies have been confronted by Indigenous land defenders and peacefully turned away.
The camp has grown into a community with a permaculture garden, a solar powered mini-grid, and a cultural centre under the guidance of hereditary Indigenous leadership to help create a working vision for future generations.
During the holidays, I started to read up on what was happening at Unist'ot'en and Gidimt'en. APTN News reports that the Government Operations Centre (GOC), an office of the Department of Public Safety, produced a 12-page report on the pipeline issue on the TransCanada pipeline in 2015.
But federal government documents obtained by APTN News reveal the odds may already be stacked against the Wet’suwet’en, and in particular the Unist’ot’en House of the Gilseyhu Clan, which the government regards as a risk to Canada’s “national interest” and one of its leaders an “aboriginal extremist”.
The documents, dated April 1, 2015 and marked “SECRET”, also reveal the government’s concern that ending the years-long Unist’ot’en resistance to pipeline development through their territory could trigger nationwide Indigenous-led protests.
The APTN article also provides valuable information to refute the claim by Coastal GasLink (a subsidiary of TransCanada) which said it entered into project agreements with all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the project route, including five Wet’suwet’en Bands.
In December, the Unis’tot’en Camp published a list of 64 organizations and over a thousand individuals who pledged to support the camp. On January, the eyes of people around the world were be on the unceded Wet'suwet'en territories and because of the day of action against the RCMP and the Trudeau government. Krystalline Kraus published a blog on rabble.ca with an analysis of the conflict and the following information about the actions:
North American cities participating on January 8 include Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo, Prince George/Lheidli, St'át'imc, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse, and others. A 24-hour sacred fire will also be held in Winnipeg. A full list of all North American and international actions, including those in Europe, is available on Facebook.
For guiding principals on how to support actions, and a fact sheet on the Gidimt'en Access Point, visit the Wet'suwet'en Access Point page on Facebook. Supporters can also donate to Gidimt'en Access Point here or the Unist'ot'en Legal Fund here.
Please do everything you can to support the brave resistance to the pipeline. Build the national movement against pipelines. The Unist'ot'en Camp is asking us to:
- Donate to the Unist’ot’en Camp Legal Fund
- Donate to the Gidimt’en Access Point
- Come to the camp
- Host a solidarity event
- Sign a pledge in support of the Unist'ot'en
- Call on federal and BC provincial cabinet ministers, the RCMP and CGL to respect Unist’ot’en/Giltseyu-Dark House on their unceded lands.
Please visit the Unist'ot'en Camp website for details.
For a little additional inspiration, you can watch this great "A Tribe Called Red - Unist'ot'en Camp - Stadium Pow Wow" video.
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