As a group of concerned neighbours who want to encourage all levels of government to act in response to the current climate crisis, we extend our full support and solidarity to the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs for their right to govern and protect their traditional lands. Indigenous rights and sovereignty are part of the climate justice movement. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders opposing pipelines on their land.
A convoy of armed RCMP tactical units has invaded sovereign and unceded Unist’ot’en Territory to enforce Coastal GazLink’s injunction. This is a gross violation of Indigenous rights and we are appalled by the recent actions of the RCMP that include a forceful removal of Indigenous matriarchs and land defenders from their land. We condemn these violent, colonial practices and stark violations of Wet’suwet’en law, Canadian law, and of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This is also a clear violation of the recent directive from the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination (CERD) requiring Canada to halt the Coastal GazLink pipeline project and withdraw RCMP from the unceded territory in order to avoid further violations of Wet’suwet’en, constitutional, and international law.
Such human rights violations and the threats of violence towards Wet’suwet’en people are unacceptable for a country that supposedly adheres to UNDRIP and claims to be committed to reconciliation and climate action. Putting interests of oil companies above the Indigenous rights, environmental sustainability and the future of generations to come, betrays the hypocrisy of the Canadian government.
As voters, as citizens, as taxpayers and as a group of people exercising our responsibility to the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants, we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People at the Unist’ot’en camp and throughout all Wet’suwet’en territory. We make their struggle our struggle and we are joined by many others across the Turtle Island and the world. We urge the province of BC and the government of Canada to reject their commitment to supporting fossil fuel industry and to restore their commitment to reconciliation, upholding Indigenous rights, and to meaningful action on climate change.
In solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders,
Neighbours for the Planet
Written by Julia Fursova, PhD, Environmental Studies, York University