Wet’suwet’en Nation needs your support! Add your name to a letter calling on Coastal Gas Link to respect Indigenous People’s rights as hereditary leadership face eviction from unceded territories.
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Your project does not have the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Wet’suwet’en Clans and Houses on their unceded traditional territory. I understand that the Supreme Court recently granted the injunction your company sought in order to forcibly impose the project on Wet’suwet’en lands. However, 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 confirmed that it is Aboriginal Peoples or Nations that are the title holders 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 on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which prohibits forcible removal of Indigenous peoples from their lands or territories.
The Wet’suwet’en are currently exploring options for further court action, including an appeal of the decision and a constitutional challenge.
I call on Coastal Gas Link 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.
I also understand that since obtaining the initial interim injunction order, CGL has interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of Wet’suwet’en people to access their lands for hunting, trapping, and ceremony.
I call on you to immediately stop these violations.
“Our people’s belief is that we are part of the land. The land is not separate from us. The land sustains us. And if we don’t take care of her, she won’t be able to sustain us, and we as a generation of people will die.”
“The Supreme Court of Canada’s Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision determined that Wet’suwet’en rights and title have never been extinguished across 22,000 km2 of British Columbia. As plaintiffs in the court case, and title holders on our land, we are exercising our right to exclusive use and occupation of land, and our right to determine its use. We ask for your support in our fight to have our Aboriginal title upheld, and to keep our lands healthy, clean, and Wet’suwet’en.”
“We honored the terms of the injunction…we honored all the terms of the agreements we’ve made…We are witnessing police break all of the agreements they have made with our chiefs, watching them actively protecting CGL and its contractors as they violate the Wildlife Act and the conditions of their permits, and watching the agencies responsible for enforcing these conditions do nothing…Coastal Gaslink is breaking all their own Canadian laws while we are upholding Wet’suwet’en laws and responsibilities to the land.”