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2 Jan 2020

Unist'ot'en Camp

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs reject the BC Supreme Court decision to criminalize Wet’suwet’en law

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Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs representing all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation reject the BC Supreme Court decision to extend Coastal GasLink’s injunction order, which has criminalized the practice of Anuk ‘nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) and inflicted violence against Wet’suwet’en people on our own unceded lands. Coastal GasLink (CGL) has never obtained consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to enter or work on our territories. GL has bulldozed through our territories and destroyed our archaeological sites, while private security firms and RCMP have interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of Wet’suwet’en people to access our lands for hunting, trapping, and ceremony. CGL has violated the conditions of their permits with impunity, facing no consequence from Canadian regulatory authorities.

... [T]he Wet’suwet’en have never ceded our lands to Canada or British Columbia, and colonial governments have never lawfully obtained the authority to render decisions on our lands. The interim injunction, which was granted by Justice Church in December of 2018, six months before the Wet’suwet’en were able to present any legal defense, has already done irreparable harm to our territories, people, and the practice of our laws... When we enforced our own laws and required that industry seek Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for development on our lands, we faced a brutal display of militaristic police violence and an ongoing police occupation of our territories... We urge the Province, in the strongest terms, to meaningfully uphold its commitment to implement UNDRIP, and to withdraw the RCMP from our territories where they oppress our people and criminalize our authority to the benefit of industry. Enforcement of this injunction by the RCMP will lead to the forcible removal of Wet’suwet’en people from our own lands and the bulldozing of our homes, continuing the violent displacement that our ancestors experienced.