Coastal GasLink (CGL), owned by TransCanada, is a proposed pipeline intended to run from Groundbirch to Kitimat in British Columbia. If completed, the CGL pipeline would run through the unceded, unsurrendered territory of numerous Indigenous nations, including the Wet’suwet’en.
As demonstrated by the Delgamuukw decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Wet’suwet’en have the legal title and rights to their own land.
This landmark Supreme Court decision establishes that the Wet’suwet’en peoples have “Aboriginal title” to their collective 22,000 km² territories. Despite the court decision and the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples, Coastal GasLink, the BC and federal governments, and the RCMP are ignoring that title by building, permitting and defending the pipeline.
The Wet’suwet’en have been fighting this pipeline and two others in this proposed “energy corridor” for more than a decade.
Land defenders have shared on the Unist’ot’en Camp website:
“On December 31, 2019, BC Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church granted an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en nation who have been stewarding and protecting our traditional territories from the destruction of multiple pipelines, including Coastal GasLink’s (CGL) liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline. Hereditary Chiefs of all five Wet’suwet’en clans have rejected Church’s decision, which criminalizes Anuk ‘nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law), and have issued and enforced an eviction of CGL’s workers from the territory. The last CGL contractor was escorted out by Wet’suwet’en Chiefs on Saturday, January 4, 2020.”
As you may know, in early 2019 the RCMP brutally attacked Wet’suwet’en land defence efforts after BC courts issued a similar injunction. Land defenders and allies were removed from the territory – many by extreme force. We recently learned that RCMP officers were authorized to use “lethal overwatch” on pipeline opponents.
Since this brutal attack in January 2019, BC has passed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law, including the right for Indigenous nations to give free, prior and informed consent to activities on their lands. This right includes the right to say no, which is what the Wet’suwet’en are doing now.
This is an indefensible display of corporate interests being stewarded by the Government of BC at the cost of the safety and sovereignty of Wet’suwet’en peoples and lands. The federal government, responsible for nation-to-nation relationships and upholding Indigenous rights as per Canada’s Constitution, is complicit in this ongoing violence.
Watch this video for more information or visit unistoten.camp.
Send an email to your MP demanding that the federal government step up to stop this violation of Indigenous rights and sovereignty.