January 17, 2019: Following a landmark press conference yesterday, with the support of leaders from all over “BC”, the Wet’suwet’en and Unist’ot’en remain steadfast in the determination that we will be successful in halting the toxic Coastal GasLink pipeline, and all that threaten the health and safety of unceded and unsurrended territories.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Over 200 packed the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers for the press conference to hear from Chiefs, Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en members. A demonstration took place afterwards with large numbers in support. (Full video of the Press Conference here – Warning Facebook link) There have also been tens of thousands of supporters demonstrating in solidarity actions around the world (
Warning Facebook link ).
Some of you may be thinking we’ve lost. That we’ve made an agreement with industry. That we are bending, conceding, giving up. This is not true. We will never give up. There will be no pipelines on our Yin’tah. The Unist’ot’en have never been defeated. We will win this fight, and we will do it with integrity and honour, as we have always done.
Our hereditary chiefs witnessed the brutality of the RCMP at 44. The militarized police force. The snipers and automatic weapons. Canada came to our territories poised for battle. They came to invade us for industry.
Unist’ot’en yin’tah is a place of healing. It is home to Wet’suwet’en people seeking refuge from colonial trauma. People recovering from addiction. People reconnecting with the land. Our chiefs love our people and want them to thrive. We would not send our ill and healing people to war. We would not tell our people to fight on a day of mourning.
CGL and RCMP have twisted our words and misrepresented our intentions. They raided our land one dayand showed up offering protection the next. We do not trust them. They are liars, and bullies, and colonizers, and thieves. But we are not like them. We know what we are doing is right.
We follow our laws and protocols. We respect each other. We are up against a heartless company and a faceless state. CGL dismantled the gate on a funeral day. RCMP blocked the road so we could not attend the funeral or feast. We gathered together, held each other up. This is what we do in the face of violence and oppression. We remember our teachings. This is why we are still here, still strong, still fighting. We learn from the land how to be resilient, how to grow. We turn to our story as Wet’suwet’en people, we turn to our culture and our laws. We know that is where our power lies.
We don’t need their guns or their money. We have the land and the water and the animals and all our relations. We don’t need their court orders and police enforcement. We have our Indigenous neighbours and relatives standing beside us. We don’t need their threats and intimidation. We have the strength of our ancestors within us. We don’t need their force and their violence. We have governed ourselves sustainably since time immemorial. We are still here. We are still fighting. This is not over.
We trust our hereditary chiefs. We trust our elders. We listen to them. We trust our systems of governance, which have lasted thousands of years and will last for thousands more. We respect the land.
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