Summit Strengthens Alliances Against Coastal Gaslink Pipeline

The conflict over the Coastal GasLink project is about more than the fate of a single pipeline or the territory of one Indigenous nation. The precedent set here will have far-reaching consequences, and Indigenous nations and leaders from across Turtle Island are paying close attention.

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation hosted a Peace and Unity Summit in the town of Smithers on Jan. 15. Wet’suwet’en leaders and representatives of other Indigenous nations gathered to offer solidarity and support in the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The Wet’suwet’en argue that their Indigenous and human rights, and rights to their territories, are threatened by the multibillion-dollar project, which is backed by the provincial and federal governments.

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors Evade RCMP As Police Mobilize For Raid

Two weeks after Wet’suwet’en water protectors evicted Coastal GasLink workers and occupied a key pipeline drill site, water protectors executed a strategic retreat to avoid arrest and violence at the hands of dozens of militarized RCMP. Before a large scale mobilization by police, water protectors vanished into the woods, evading police violence and criminalization. We expect an imminent assault on our people at the direction of Coastal GasLink as we continue to occupy and utilize our yintah.

Continue reading

CN Rail Wins Right To Privately Prosecute Rail Blockade Participants

CN Rail has won the right to privately pursue criminal charges against three people who participated in a 2020 rail blockade in northern B.C., despite the fact that provincial prosecutors declined to get involved.

The ruling cements the B.C. Supreme Court’s ability to enforce court injunctions, with or without the participation of Crown prosecutors, who unsuccessfully fought the decision.

A group of people, including three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, were arrested at a blockade on a CN Rail line in New Hazelton, B.C. on Feb. 24, 2020.

An injunction against the blockade had been issued two weeks prior amid nationwide protests in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Retake Checkpoint A Month After Police Crackdown

On Saturday, December 19, activists leading the Wet’suwet’en resistance against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project declared that they evicted workers of the project from the drill site. This development comes exactly a month after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) violently dismantled a blockade led by the Gidimt’en clan near Camp Coyote and arrested dozens of protesters and even bystanders.

The declaration of reclaiming Camp Coyote was made over a statement released by the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, on Sunday, December 20. “This courageous action took place one month after a wave of militarized raids on Gidimt’en land,” the statement read.

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Resistance And Solidarity: Evicting The Colonizers

One month ago today, the RCMP violently raided unceded Gidimt’en territory (November 18-19, 2021), removing Indigenous people from their land at gunpoint on behalf of TC Energy’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en enforced our standing eviction of CGL by closing roads into the territory November 14-17. Following the raids, arrestees received cruel and violent treatment in prison. The conditions set forth by the court are human rights violations to Indigenous peoples. We’re still here. We’re still throwing down. We are more determined than ever to protect our traditional territories for future generations.

In September 2021, Gidimt’en Checkpoint reoccupied Lhudis Bin territory, building a clan cabin on the drill pad site where Coastal GasLink pipeline wants to drill underneath our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa.

Continue reading

Report-Back From A Rail Blockade In Saint-Lambert

On Saturday, more than sixty people acting in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders blocked the CN main line in Saint-Lambert south of Montreal for over six hours. It was the longest rail blockade in Quebec since the winter of 2020, interrupting Via Rail service and immobilizing six freight trains. These notes reflect the experience of a couple participants in Saturday’s blockade.

Nostalgia mixed with anticipation as we arrived at the tracks where they cross rue Saint-Georges, with banners ready to hang across the rail crossing and no police in sight. It was a bright morning, temperatures just below freezing and the ground snowless, a contrast with that first night in February 2020, when temperatures sunk to 25 below and snow could be piled into mounds atop the rails.

Continue reading

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Evict Government Liaison Nathan Cullen

The Gitxsan have posted on Instagram: “Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs evict MLA Nathan Cullen from Gitxsan Lax’yip [territory].”

Their post continues: “The NDP has failed to uphold good relations with our peoples, and due to the violence inflicted on Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan Wilp [house group] members, the NDP is no longer welcome on our territories.”

“Someone needs to be accountable for the violent actions inflicted upon our peoples and territories by the RCMP and Coastal GasLink.”

It concludes: “We do not believe these are simply renegade police actions following the rulings of a mere Provincial Court. We know that the feds and the province are guilty of trying to exterminate our way of life.”

Cullen was a federal NDP Member of Parliament from June 2004 to October 2019.

Continue reading

Violence Against Wet’suwet’en And Apparent Police, Industry Collusion

By January 24, 2014, the RCMP’s Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team (CIIT) had produced an intelligence assessment on Criminal Threats to the Canadian Petroleum Industry that notes “violent aboriginal extremists” and includes in Appendix E an article from the Georgia Straight that briefly mentions the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation.

A further document dated April 1, 2015, from the Government Operations Centre (GOC), which compiles information from the RCMP and other agencies, describes an unnamed Unist’ot’en leader as an “aboriginal extremist.”

Within five years of that second report, the RCMP had launched two militarized raids against the Wet’suwet’en.

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Supporters Shut Down LaSalle Causeway

A blockade shut down the LaSalle Causeway for part of Sunday afternoon. The Causeway was unusable for nearly an hour due to the protest, before Kingston Police officers were dispatched to remove the crowd from the crossing between Kingston East and downtown. This comes in the wake of continued and escalating RCMP presence, which on Thursday saw dozens of heavily armed police officers move in on a blocked stretch of access road, arresting fifteen. Among those fifteen arrested were two journalists documenting the standoff.

Continue reading

52nd National Day Of Mourning To Be Observed In Plymouth

According to UAINE youth coordinator Kisha James, who is Aquinnah Wampanoag and Oglala Lakota and the granddaughter of Wamsutta Frank James, the founder of National Day of Mourning, “We Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims. We want to educate people so that they understand the stories we all learned in school about the first Thanksgiving are nothing but lies. Wampanoag and other Indigenous people have certainly not lived happily ever after since the arrival of the Pilgrims. To us, Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning, because we remember the millions of our ancestors who were murdered by uninvited European colonists such as the Pilgrims. Today, we and many Indigenous people around the country say, ‘No Thanks, No Giving.’”

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Block Effort To Tunnel Under Morice River

At the turnoff, four workers with Coastal GasLink security gather in orange and yellow vests, their voices edged with frustration as they talk above four idling pickup trucks that release a haze of exhaust into the early morning light.

Another pickup faces off against the group, blocking access to the rough and muddy spur road that leads to the pipeline worksite.

It’s a scene that has played out every day for the past week and a half on Wet’suwet’en territory, as land defenders block pipeline workers from accessing a site where Coastal GasLink is preparing to drill under the Morice River and install the pipeline.

On Sept. 24, protesters used Coastal GasLink’s own machinery to dig up the rough resource road that connects this junction to a worksite two kilometres beyond.

Continue reading

Violence Against Indigenous Peoples Is Happening In Plain Sight

It’s been just over one year since the RCMP raided Wet’suwet’en camps along the route of the Coastal Gas Link (CGL) LNG pipeline in Northern B.C. Brandishing guns and tactical gear, the RCMP arrested dozens of Indigenous land defenders and supporters who defied an injunction obtained by CGL to not impede the construction right of way.

The raids evoked outrage that saw supporters across Canada erect railway blockades and highway shutdowns. Demonstrators gathered by the thousands in the streets demanding governments, police and industry to uphold Indigenous rights and stop construction of the pipeline.

Continue reading

One Year Anniversary Of Wet’suwet’en Protests, Blockades

The protests were a result of the BC NDP’s decision to press ahead with the Coastal GasLink pipeline through the Wet’suwet’en territory using militarized RCMP to enforce their decision.

I had just returned from a visit to the territory. I was invited by the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to witness firsthand their beautiful lands and the violence delivered by the BC NDP government.

As the protestors pulsed with anger, solidarity blockades popped up on rail lines and other infrastructure across the country. Just a few short weeks after passing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in November 2019, it looked like 2020 was going to be a difficult year for Crown-Indigenous relations in British Columbia.

Continue reading

How The Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Changed Their Lives

It was the first week of Kolin Sutherland-Wilson’s final semester at the University of Victoria. But he wasn’t there. Instead, on a chilly January morning in 2020, he sat alone on the front steps of the British Columbia legislature, dressed warmly and holding signs that called on provincial leaders to stand with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs opposing the Coastal GasLink project in their traditional territory.

For a week, he spent all day on the steps. MLAs and staff who passed by barely glanced at him.

But soon friends, classmates and community members joined him. The growing group took on bigger actions — a ferry blockade and a sit-in at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum resources.

Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en Call On Province To Close Pipeline Work Camps

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are calling on B.C.’s public health officer to shut down work camps operating on their territory as COVID-19 numbers rise in northern B.C.

In an open letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry signed by 22 Ts’ako ze’, or female chiefs, the women express “grave concern” over continued construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline through the region.

Three work camps currently house close to 700 people on Wet’suwet’en territory, according to the pipeline builder’s November update.

Continue reading