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HRD Attack

29 Mar 2023

4 Wet'suwet'en defenders

Incident date
29 Mar 2023
Date accuracy
All Correct
5 Wet'suwet'en defenders
Not applicable
Affected community's leader or member
Arbitrary detention
Target: Individual
Location of Incident: Canada
Coastal GasLink (part of TC Energy) Canada Oil, gas & coal
TC Energy (formerly Transcanada) Canada Oil, gas & coal, Nuclear energy
Other actors


On 29 March 2023, five land defenders, including Jocey Alec, on Wet’suwet’en territory, most of them Indigenous women, were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) near the construction of a natural gas pipeline that runs through central British Columbia. According to an RCMP statement, four individuals were arrested for refusing to cooperate with police direction and one for attempting to prevent officers from executing the warrant. RCMP said that the search was related to an incident that had happened a few days earlier, in which local police received a complaint from a Coastal GasLink security worker.

“We are thankful that no one was injured during this incident,” a TC Energy media spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. “We will continue to cooperate with the Houston RCMP in their investigation of this and, as always, will prioritize the safety of our work crews and the communities around us.”

Wet’suwet’en territory defenders have experienced intimidation, threats, and criminalisation related to their opposition to the project, including incidents in 2019 and in 2020. First proposed in 2012, the 670-kilometre-long Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline, subsidiary of TC Energy, is intended to carry liquified natural gas from northeast BC to a terminal on the coast in Kitimat. A portion of it is set to pass through the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

TC Energy says it signed agreements with all First Nations along the proposed pipeline route. However, hereditary chiefs have said that under Wet'suwet'en law the band councils don't have authority or jurisdiction over what happens in the nation's traditional territory and have "condemn[ed] the...use of intimidation, harassment, and ongoing threats of forceful intervention and removal of the Wet’suwet’en land defenders from Wet’suwet’en unceded territory."