9 January, 2019, Unceded Secwepemc Territory (Kamloops, BC) – Watch House Guardian Will George travelled to Secwepemc territory today to join Indigenous leaders in confronting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Yesterday, militarized RCMP moved in to demolish the Gidimt’en checkpoint in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, as more than 60 solidarity events around the country called on government to respect the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, title holders, and land defenders at Gidimt’en and Unist’ot’en.
“What happened and what is currently happening in Wet’suwet’en territory is unacceptable,” said Watch House Guardian and Tsleil-Waututh member Will George.
“Indigenous peoples in Canada have been more than generous in sharing, in fact, we have been left with almost nothing. That is why we must protect the little we have left,” he continued.
“This is the same fight as the fight to stop Trans Mountain’s disastrous diluted bitumen pipeline and tanker project. The risks are too great – we can not and we will not allow them to destroy our way of life. No means no.”
Last month, TransCanada Coastal GasLink requested and received an injunction similar to the one granted to Kinder Morgan at the Trans Mountain tanker terminal and tank farm on unceded Tsleil-Waututh territory in Burnaby last year.
The injunction directs the hereditary chiefs to remove the gate at Unist’ot’en camp and allow Coastal GasLink employees to begin work on the pipeline. If they do not comply, they can be fined and jailed.
Land defenders argue that BC and Canada’s commitments to honour the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) are being violated.
Article 10 of UNDRIP states:
Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.