UBCIC Supports Call for Peaceful Evacuation of Coastal GasLink from Wet’suwet’en Territory

Statement
November 17, 2021

UBCIC Supports Call for Peaceful Evacuation of Coastal GasLink from Wet’suwet’en Territory

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – November 17, 2021) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) continues to support efforts of members of the Gidimt’en clan to peacefully assert and safeguard their inherent Title and Rights, and to uphold their sovereignty and jurisdiction over unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in stopping Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) expansion. On November 14, 2021, members of the Gidimt’en clan enforced the eviction of Coastal Gaslink (CGL) workers from their lands and gave them eight hours to peacefully evacuate before the main road into the Lhudis Bin territory of the Gidimt’en clan was closed. These Gidimt’en members are upholding ancient Wet’suwet’en trespass laws and an eviction notice served by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to CGL in 2020.

UBCIC supports the peaceful resolution of the ongoing dispute between Wet’suwet’en land defenders and CGL, and by Resolution 2019-07, UBCIC called upon the governments of Canada and B.C. to honour the S.C.C.’s precedent-setting Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa case which confirmed that Wet’suwet’en Title and Rights have never been extinguished. Directed by Resolution 2021-55, UBCIC further outlined the critical environmental and health risks of LNG and called upon the province to phase out the industry and provide financial support and incentives for workers and Indigenous communities to transition to a clean-energy economy. Since 2019 the RCMP have used force, aggression, and intimidatory tactics against Wet’suwet’en Nation members and allies, and UBCIC notes that while the CGL pipeline has been approved by both provincial and federal governments, it has come under criticism from Amnesty International, B.C.'s Human Rights Commission and the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, who say all First Nations affected by the pipeline should give free, prior and informed consent before it can proceed.

As blockades have been established on roads to prevent access to the worksites, Minister Mike Farnworth has released a statement calling on all parties to de-escalate the situation and move quickly to eliminate the blockades through peaceful means. As UBCIC does not support or condone violence of any form and remains deeply committed to the recognition and implementation of the Title and Rights of all Indigenous peoples, UBCIC urges the province, CGL,  and law enforcement to reach a peaceful resolution through open dialogue and the respecting of Wet’suwet’en authority and laws. We stand in solidarity with all Nations who working together to ensure Canada and B.C. uphold the UN Declaration and stop any violent or discriminatory practices against peaceful land defenders. UBCIC also takes this opportunity to reiterate opposition to the LNG industry.

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Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o 778-866-0548

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca

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