Dec 20, 2021 – Unceded Gidimt’en Territory, Smithers (BC). Gidimt’en land defenders and supporters have once again evicted Coastal Gaslink workers from a key pipeline drill site, protecting Wet’suwet’en headwaters and re-occupying the area known as “Coyote Camp”.
Submitted to Enough 14.
Early Sunday, in observance of Wet’suwet’en law, land defenders enforced the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ 2020 Eviction Notice to Coastal Gaslink, removing pipeline workers and re-establishing the blockade that ended on Nov 19th after two days of militarized police raids.
The eviction took place exactly one month after RCMP made 30 arrests on Wet’suwet’en yintah, marking the third large-scale militarized operation on unceded Wet’suwet’en land since 2019. Approximately 100 RCMP, equipped with assault weapons, sniper rifles, and dogs were deployed while floodwaters raged throughout the province, to facilitate construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the theft of sovereign Wet’suwet’en land.
The Wet’suwet’en people have never sold, surrendered, or in any way relinquished title to Wet’suwet’en land.
Today’s action follows the 24th anniversary of the 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa court ruling, which proved that Aboriginal title has never been extinguished across 58,000km2 of Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan lands. The Supreme Court of Canada recognized the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs as representatives of the Wet’suwet’en title holding collective, and Anuc ‘nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) as the basis of Wet’suwet’en society.
In violation of the Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa ruling, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Anuc ‘nu’at’en, the Coastal GasLink pipeline has proceeded without the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
In early 2020, Hereditary Chiefs representing all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation issued an eviction notice to Coastal Gaslink, leading to a series of blockades across Wet’suwet’en land and sparking nationwide solidarity actions. Today, this eviction is once again in force.
“Coastal GasLink does not and will never have the consent of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary governance system and should expect that Wet’suwet’en law will prevail on our lands. No amount of state violence against us will make us forget our responsibility to protect the water for all future generations”, says Sleydo’, spokesperson for the Gidimt’en Checkpoint.
Media Backgrounder – Wet’suwet’en 101: https://www.yintahaccess.com/media-background