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RAVEN - Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs

Act NOW in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en: Tell Coastal GasLink to Uphold Indigenous Rights

We need all hands on deck to support the Wet’suwet’en, whose rights and title to their unceded territory in northern British Columbia are at risk.

On December 31, 2019, the B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en nation who have been stewarding and protecting their traditional territories from Coastal GasLink’s (CGL) liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline. In response, Hereditary Chiefs have issued and enforced an eviction of CGL’s workers from the territory. Despite this, Coastal GasLink has stated they will move forward with construction.

 

 

Today marks the first day of the International Week of Action in support of Wet’suwet’en. We are writing to call on Coastal Gas Link that they need to respect the inherent Indigenous rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en, and to defer to their injunction against CGL presence on their territory, at least until the underlying issues have been fully litigated.

Coastal GasLink does not have the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Wet’suwet’en Clans and Houses on their unceded traditional territory. While the Supreme Court recently granted the injunction Coastal GasLink sought in order to forcibly impose the project on Wet’suwet’en lands, according to legal experts, the injunction itself is likely to be at odds with the letter and spirit of Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Delgamuukw and Tsilhqot’in actions. (https://www.firstpeopleslaw.com/index/articles/381.php).

Namely, the Delgamuukw decision recognized that Aboriginal title had never been extinguished across 22,000 km2 of Wet’suwet’en traditional territory, while Tsilhqot’in emphasized that title holder standing is determined by each Indigenous Nation regardless of any Indian Act band structure. What’s more, British Columbia recently adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The Act gives effect to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, which prohibits forcible removal of Indigenous peoples from their lands or territories.

The world is watching. 

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued an “Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure” requesting that construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tankers Expansion Project, Site C Dam and Coastal GasLink cease immediately, unless free prior and informed consent is achieved. The UN Committee urged Canada to “immediately cease forced eviction of Wet’suwet’en peoples and urges Canada to guarantee that no force will be used against Wet’suwet’en peoples, and that the RCMP withdraw from traditional lands; and prohibit use of lethal weapons against Indigenous peoples.”

The Wet’suwet’en people, under the governance of their hereditary chiefs, are opposing the largest fracking project in Canadian history. The Coastal Gas Link pipeline (CGL), owned by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) aims to connect the fracking operations of Northeastern B.C. with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in the coastal town of Kitimat. This project aims to blaze a trail that would turn pristine forests and salmon streams into a fossil fuel corridor. If CGL were to be built and become operational, it would irreversibly transform the ecology and character of Northern B.C. They are asking for urgent assistance from allies so they can push back against industry occupation on their lands. Coastal Gas Link would be permitted to (drill, build roads, erect construction camps and import hundreds of migrant workers) to build a fracked gas pipeline.

Share widely in this action to call out these company violations of Indigenous rights. Make your voice heard, send your letter to Coastal GasLink here.

13 Responses

  1. Sarah

    I hope that this horrific situation exposes Canada, on a global scale, for how we truly treat Indigenous Peoples. We are not the friendly, accepting, equality wielding country that we seem to be known for. As a non-Indigenous person, I sign and share this petition as a way to stand behind the Wet’suwet’en and support them in their fight and resistance against the Costal Gaslink pipeline. How Canada historically and currently treats and values (devalues) Indigenous Peoples is appalling and it takes ALL PEOPLES to stand up and say this is not ok, in order for change to happen.

  2. Eddie Doran

    Time for our governments to honour their promises to these people and the land treaties they signed long ago. These pipelines are an abomination and the support of the fossil fuel industry in this age of climate change is criminal.

  3. Jude

    I am heartsick that my people—white people—have historically perpetrated such horrific injustices on the Indigenous peoples of these territories and that in our willful ignorance we continue to do so in the face of more enlightened understanding. Coastal Gas should feel shame about what they are attempting. Reparations are in order. In the meantime, they need to desist from doing further damage.

  4. d robinson

    Hopefully the fossil fuel companies and the people with the power of elective office will face in a future court of law the charges of genocide against humanity for failure to protect humanity from the climate crisis!

  5. Pingback : Online-Petition: Gaspipeline in Kanada ohne Konsultation der betroffenen Indigenen – Menschenrechte und indigene Völker

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