January 8th 2020
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Statement of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver expresses its unwavering support for and solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People, including the Unist’ot’en Camp and the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, who are mobilizing against the unauthorized Coastal Gaslink (CGL) Pipeline project. We unconditionally support the recent eviction of CGL employees from Wet’suwet’en territory—over which the Wet’suwet’en alone have the sovereign ability to govern—as issued by the Hereditary Chiefs of all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who have not consented to the CGL project. We also condemn the violent, militarized invasion of Wet’suwet’en lands by the RCMP, and find recent revelations that the RCMP was ready to murder Wet’suwet’en land defenders truly abhorrent.
Per the 1997 Delgamuukw ruling, the colonial Supreme Court of Canada itself recognized the rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en People in relation to their ancestral and unceded territory. And yet Canada is not honouring this decision. In the years since, both the federal and British Columbia governments have declared their commitments to Truth & Reconciliation processes. The federal government is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which affirms Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination, and the BC government has congratulated itself for becoming the first province to pass legislation (the new BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act) to bring BC laws in line with UNDRIP. And yet neither BC nor Canada are honouring these commitments.
We do not mean to diminish these important measures, but at present they remain symbolic. We do intend to hold the Canadian and BC governments accountable to the fact that they are absolutely failing to carry out these duties in practice. We therefore call upon the federal and BC governments to walk the talk by:
Respecting Wet’suwet’en sovereignty and jurisdiction; Immediately halting the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project; Immediately removing the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territory and ending unlawful surveillance and criminalization of all Indigenous land and water protectors, while commencing a formal and independent inquiry into the RCMP as a first step toward overhauling its racist and colonial underpinnings; and Immediately settling all outstanding land claims and repatriating Indigenous lands.
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver is a decentralized, autonomous, and non-violent social movement that engages in civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of further social collapse. We recognize and acknowledge that our actions throughout so-called Metro Vancouver take place on the traditional, ancestral, unceded, and unconquered yet occupied lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. We are committed to upholding our responsibilities to be good relatives and to act in solidarity with Indigenous-led movements locally and from afar in whatever way is requested, and we are dedicated to building respectful, reciprocal, and accountable relationships with Indigenous communities in accordance with each community’s unique protocols.
For those who are able, we ask that you consider taking any of the following actions to support the Wet’suwet’en as they defend the land and water of their traditional and sovereign territory:
Register as a volunteer to join the Wet’suwet’en on the frontlines. Host a fundraiser to support upcoming legal challenges. Donate directly to the Unist’ot’en Legal Fund or the Gidimt’en Checkpoint. Contact BC Ministers and urge them to revoke Coastal GasLink permits. Sign up for the newsletter to receive Camp updates, and share on social media.
In love, rage, and solidarity, Extinction Rebellon Vancouver