Wet’suwet’en

Stand Strong for Wet'suwet'en Yintah

We Are Unfrackable

We need all hands on deck to support the Wet’suwet’en, who are  defending their unceded territory (Yintah) from Coastal GasLink’s (CGL) liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline. The Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ (Chiefs) wholeheartedly oppose the CGL project, which would turn pristine forests and salmon streams into a fossil fuel corridor. 

The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have launched two separate legal actions to defend their rights and title from unwanted industrial activity, and to hold the governments of Canada and British Columbia accountable to climate commitments for future generations. 

 

 Donate to support the Wet’suwet’en legal defence fund  and take a stand for future generations. 

CLICK HERE to Join the #WeAreTheStronghold Fundraising Team to set up a crowdfunding page,
and reach out to your friends and family for contributions. 

about this campaign

Coastal GasLink is proposing a 670-km pipeline carrying fracked gas from Dawson Creek to a proposed LNG facility in Kitimat. The pipeline is owned by TransCanada, the same corporation funding the Keystone XL and Energy East Pipeline projects. If built, the pipeline 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.

Challenging permit and human rights violations through Judicial Review

Since time immemorial the Wet’suwet’en have been stewarding and protecting their traditional territories. Now, they are defending land, air and water from the Coastal GasLink pipeline. In February 2020 the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs  launched two separate legal actions. 

 

The first legal action, launched by all clans of the Wet’suwet’en, acting in unity — seeks a judicial review of Coastal GasLink’s environmental assessment based on multiple permit violations by the company, along with a failure to implement recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls. 

A Charter Climate Challenge

The second legal action is a Constitutional challenge asking the Federal Court to declare that Canada has a constitutional duty to keep the country’s greenhouse gas emissions well within the Paris Agreement limit of 2 ̊C above pre-industrial levels. If successful, the lawsuit could lead to far-reaching changes to Canada’s environmental legislation.  It would enable the federal cabinet to cancel approvals previously given to fossil fuel projects such as the LNG export facilities and pipelines proposed for Wet’suwet’en Territories and the northwest B.C. region. 

“The climate crisis is already hitting our House territories hard. You only have to look at the shrinking Hudson Bay Mountain glacier and count the salmon. If Canada is allowed to continue approving infrastructure for fracked gas projects on a 40-year timeline, our territories will become a wasteland before the project licenses expire.”

-Dini Ze’ Lho'imggin, Alphonse Gagnon

Wet'suwet'en:
A Timeline
  • January 2019

    INJUNCTION GRANTED TO CGL

    BC Supreme Court grants CGL an injunction against land defenders in Wet'suwet'en territory.

  • October 2019

    JUDICIAL REVIEW LAUNCHED

    B.C. Environmental Assessment Office grants CGL an extension to their project permit, paving the way for construction in Wet'suwet'en territory. 

  • January 2019

    INJUNCTION GRANTED TO CGL

    BC Supreme Court grants CGL an injunction against land defenders in Wet'suwet'en territory.

  • January 2020

    EVICTION ORDER ISSUED

    Dark House (Unist’ot’en) notifies Coastal GasLink of eviction from territory, citing violations of Indigenous law. 

  • February 2020

    RCMP RAID

    Coastal GasLink crews attempt to re-start work in the Morice River area, resulting in RCMP enforcement action on Indigenous land protectors.

  • February 2020

    SOLIDARITY ACTIONS

    Solidarity protests and actions erupt in support of Wet'suwet'en across the country: Kahnawake Mohawk community members south of Montreal erect a blockade on a CP rail line.

    #WeAreTheStronghold concerts organized; $40k raised before COVID-19 shutdown cancels shows in Ottawa & Winnipeg. 

  • October 2020

    JUDICIAL REVIEW

    Judicial Review of BC's granting of permit extension to Coastal GasLink heard October 1-2; at issue are multiple permit violations and a failure to apply recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls Report. 

CAMPAIGN NEWS

Q&A with Wet’suwet’en legal counsel D.J. Larkin

We sat down with lawyer D.J. Larkin, together with matriarchs from Wet’suwet’en Nation, for an engaging, powerful and emotional webinar last October 20th. You can view the video of that conversation here. Many people had…

VIDEO: Weaving Solidarity: Honouring Stolen Sisters

Join a powerful circle of healing and remembrance: bear witness to a webinar with Wet’suwet’en matriarchs that took place October 20, 2020. We hear so often about “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”. Behind…

Linking MMIWG2S Report to Wet’suwet’en legal challenges

The Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirits produced a Final Report in 2019 which specifically linked “man camps” (worker camps for resource projects in remote areas) to increased risk of…

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Wet’suwet’en Houses, through their Hereditary Chiefs, have launched two legal challenges over Canada’s approval of multiple fossil fuel projects in their territory. These challenges are strategically designed to address both the immediate issue of the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline being built without Wet’suwet’en consent, as well as Canada’s ongoing failure to address the climate emergency.

Legal challenge No. 1, supported by all the Hereditary Chiefs acting in unity, seeks a Judicial Review of a project extension for Coastal GasLink’s pipeline, granted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) in October 2019 for another 5 years. The action argues that the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office had a duty to assess new evidence of the project’s harms, which in this case means the recent findings of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which found direct links between extractive industries, “man camps” and increased violence against Indigenous women. The BCEAO was also required to take into account Coastal GasLink’s record of non-compliance.

Legal challenge No. 2, a constitutional and Charter of Rights challenge brought by two Houses of the Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed Clan) through their House Chiefs, is an ambitious, long-term legal challenge seeking a comprehensive overhaul of Canada’s environmental legislation to enable urgent action on climate change.

This visionary, sweeping action puts forward the argument that Canada has a constitutional duty to protect its citizens from climate catastrophe, and draws a line against reckless fossil fuel developments that will push us past the tipping point. The action invokes Constitutional provisions about “peace, order and good government” as well as the equality rights of Wet’suwet’en young people and future generations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The case specifically names Coastal GasLink and Pacific Trails fracked gas pipelines along with LNG export facilities in Kitimat as particularly high-emitting fossil fuel projects that are likely to breach Canada’s (already inadequate) emissions targets. In the name of future generations, the legal challenge argues that Canada’s failure to do its fair share to avert a climate catastrophe would breach the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Stand for Future Generations

Hereditary chiefs wholeheartedly oppose the CGL project, which aims to blaze a trail through Wet’suwet’en territory and 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. 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.

Gidumten_Checkpoint_4

An eviction order goes unheeded

Despite an eviction by Wet’suwet’en leadership — whose jurisdiction in their territory was established in the landmark Delgamuukw case —  the company has pressed on in building a fracked gas pipeline that would contribute to climate catastrophe. 

From bulldozing active harvesting areas to despoiling not one, but every single protected wetland they encountered on the pipeline route, the project's violations include a failure to implement recommendations from Canada's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls commission report. 

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We Are the Stronghold

A magnificent response from allies and fellow Indigenous Peoples across the country and around the world brought Wet'suwet'en to international prominence. A series of "We Are the Stronghold" events - kicking off with a concert in Toronto featuring Tribe Called Red, Serena Ryder, and Sarain Fox - was planned just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

Now, supporters are using their creativity and talent to host online fundraisers and virtual events in support of legal challenges that are our best chance to stop Coastal Gas Link and enshrine the caretaker values of Wet'suwet'en leaders into law.