We stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and those who seek to protect their traditional territory from pipeline development. Their ongoing, peaceful resistance to unwanted exploitation of their unceded land is to be expected and supported. In seeking to protect corporate interests over those of the people who have lived on this land for millennia, Canada is once again showing its skewed priorities and lack of interest in meaningful reconciliation.
We understand that the criminalization of the Indigenous people in defending their land is yet another example that colonization is not only a part of Canada’s history but also of its current treatment of the country’s original inhabitants. More than a heinous act unto itself, the arresting of people at the Unist’ot’en Camp is an unacceptable manifestation of systemic greed trumping human rights.
We urge the Canadian and British Columbian governments to recognize their mistake in backing the interests of the destructive fossil fuel industry and subsequently for criminalizing the Wet’suwet’en people for protecting their land. We urge both levels of government to begin fostering relationships that recognize Indigenous people’s rights over their land and strives to support their safety and autonomy.
Photo: Solidarity round dance, downtown Saskatoon, February 13 2020