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RAVEN - Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs

BREAKING NEWS: Wet’suwet’en launch legal challenge to pipeline

On Monday the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs launched a legal challenge to a proposed Coastal Gas Link (CGL) pipeline that would carry fracked gas through Wet’suwet’en Yintah (territory) in north-west B.C. to a liquefied natural gas  (LNG) facility in Kitimat.  

There has been a groundswell of support from across the country and around the world, as peaceful Indigenous land protectors face mounting threats from police and industry. Now, we have a chance to support a case that challenges the legitimacy of a fracked gas project that will bring climate impacts, man-camps and rights violations to a people who have not consented to the project. 

Hereditary Chiefs representing all of the five Clans of the Wet’suwet’en unanimously support this legal action, which seeks a Judicial Review of a project extension for Coastal Gas Link’s pipeline, granted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office last October.  The Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ (Chiefs) wholeheartedly oppose the CNG project, which aims to blaze a trail through Wet’suwet’en territory and turn pristine forests and salmon streams into a fossil fuel corridor. Coastal GasLink has already bulldozed through Wet’suwet’en territories, destroying archaeological sites and occupying their land with industrial man-camps.

Wet’suwet’en Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ (Hereditary Chiefs) stand united in pursuing this legal action. Canadian law recognizes Wet’suwet’en traditional governance, as the Supreme Court explicitly stated in the groundbreaking Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision and as reaffirmed in the Canfor v. Sam case.

If CGL were to be built and become operational, it would irreversibly transform the ecology and character of northern B.C. It would also lock in decades of fossil fuel extraction at a time when scientists are warning of untold suffering unless all nations rapidly scale down production of fossil fuels.

“This case is about questioning the integrity of the environmental assessment process. In recommending that CGL be granted a project extension of 5 years, the EAO failed in its legislated duty to properly consider the facts, abdicated its responsibility to interrogate newly identified potential harms of this project, and has made a decision that is unjustified and unjustifiable,” said Caily DiPuma of Woodward and Co., legal counsel for the Wet’suwet’en. “Public confidence in the administration of BC’s environmental assessment system requires that the EAO be held to account for its failings.”

This legal challenge comes at a time when Canadians at large are increasingly concerned about the growing epidemic of violence against Indigenous women. The final report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG urged immediate action to address Canada’s “race-based genocide of Indigenous peoples,” and found that “work camps, or ‘man camps,’ associated with the resource extraction industry are implicated in higher rates of violence against Indigenous women at the camps and in the neighbouring communities.”

The Wet’suwet’en people, under the governance of their hereditary chiefs, have never consented to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. This legal action seeks to overturn the EAO’s decision to extend Coastal GasLink’s certificate due to an established pattern of non-compliance from the project proponent. The Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ continue to resist colonial and gendered violence against Wet’suwet’en people, and to protect Wet’suwet’en lands for future generations.

Will you support Wet’suwet’en? Donate now. 

8 Responses

  1. Pingback : Keep Up The Pressure! Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation – INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY OTTAWA

  2. YTP

    In support of the Wet’suwet’en nation we ask you to not only donate but please please turn off the gas line at your house to show the big energy corporation that in fact we don’t need there gas and we want them to keep it in the ground.

  3. There’s ALREADY a pipeline crossing British Columbia, including one that’s been going right through the land that the Wet’suwet’en people live on for YEARS! I wrote to the Wet’suwet’en people on their Website and asked if there wasn’t already an older pipeline running across the British Columbia land upon which the Wet’suwet’en people live. A new pipeline would be much safer than the old one, so I fail to see what the problem is! The millions of dollars that are paid by Canadian citizens and given to the people who were the first to immigrate to Canada-we are ALL immigrants to this country. What I don’t understand is that the Wet’suwet’en Chiefs have already agreed to the pipeline being installed in and through the land that they occupy. I’m a resident of Victoria and have seen enough of this ridiculous protesting which is bordering on terror tactics. I wonder how many of the protesters are aware of the pipeline that has been running through the land where the Wet’suwet’en people live? Why don’t these ‘Hereditary Chiefs talk to the Wet’suwet’en Chiefs who SIGNED the ‘Go Ahead’ for the pipeline and stop terrifying the people who live in Victoria. We are Taxpayers.

    1. Joseph Frew

      The REAL CHIEFS of the Wet’suwet’en tribe has already signed the contract for the Pipeline to be placed on the British Columbian land that the Wet’suwet’en people have been given by the Government. The ‘Hereditary Chiefs’ ought to talk to the Wet’suwet’en Chiefs who SIGNED the contract, instead of resorting to childish tactics in front of the Provincial Parliament Buildings, the Ferries, occupying Government buildings.
      I’ve been in touch with the Wet’suwet’en people through their webpage to ask them if there was an old pipeline on the land where they live, (because I know there is), and they wrote back to me answering yes-there was a pipeline, old but in use. A new pipeline will guarantee safety to the land that the old pipeline is currently delivering. The ‘Hereditary Chiefs’ of the Wet’suwet’en people should be protesting against the democratically elected Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en. Either the Hereditary Chiefs are intentionally spreading misinformation or are totally clueless. Please-Help me to understand the truth.

  4. Aaron

    I hope none of the hereditary chiefs heat their homes with natural gas. It is carried through a pipeline. That would be very hypocritical. To be opposed to a natural gas project that could lift generations out of poverty is idiotic. Get real. Its natural gas, not oil.

  5. Pingback : ICLMG condemns repression, criminalization of Wet’suwet’en land defenders, supporters & journalists - International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

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