Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) state that they are gravely concerned about the safety and well-being of the Wet’suwet’en land defenders as the RCMP set up nearby the Gidimt’en camp to enforce the interim injunction from the BC Supreme Court in December 2018, which supports Coastal Gaslink beginning construction on a 700km natural gas pipeline and transformation plant.
The Gidimt’en are one of the five Wet’suwet’en clans, who all oppose the construction of oil and gas pipelines in Wet’suwet’en territory. In December, the Gidimt’en set up a gate to strongly support a peaceful resolution at the Unist’ot’en camp 20km away, where Coastal Gaslink wants to put the pipeline.
UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip stated, “We strongly condemn the RCMP’s 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”.
Grand Chief Phillip adds “In continuing to aggressively threaten the Wet’suwet’en with eviction from their own Title land, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court of Canada’s precedent-setting Delgamuukw case which confirmed that the Wet’suwet’en’s Title and Rights have never been extinguished”.
“The RCMP’s actions are in direct contradiction to both governments’ stated commitments to true reconciliation, and to full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is a global human rights standard. We demand that Canada and BC call on the RCMP and Coastal GasLink to respect the Unist’ot’en/ Giltseyu-Dark House on unceded lands. The provincial and federal governments must revoke the permits for this project until the standards of free, prior and informed consent are met,” concludes the Grand Chief.