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11 Jan 2020

Brent Patterson, Common Dreams

Commentary: Canada, the RCMP, and Human Rights Obligations to the Wet'suwet'en Nation

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[The] Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation recently evicted TC Energy/Coastal GasLink from their territories in British Columbia... [Canada Press reports that the] United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had called for the RCMP and other security and police to withdraw from Wet'suwet'en traditional lands... [As a response, RMCP stated] "We want to emphasize that we are impartial in this dispute and our priority is to facilitate a dialogue between the various stakeholders involved. We remain hopeful that these efforts will result in a resolution."

On Jan. 7, 2019, heavily armed RCMP officers raided the Gidimt'en checkpoint situated within the Wet'suwet'en Nation. By Jan. 10, the Hereditary Chiefs said they would open the Unist'ot'en checkpoint to avoid further police violence... The Guardian subsequently reported "Canadian police were prepared to shoot Indigenous land defenders blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia..."... As the world watches the Wet'suwet'en Nation, it is essential that Canada uphold its constitutional and international human rights obligations.