Earth Day Strike

 

 

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What’s Happening?

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It’s more important now than ever to unite and support each other. That’s why, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re launching a massive livestream from April 22-24 where you can join activists, celebrities, musicians, and more in an epic moment of community and hope for our future. Together, we’ll:

  • Drive donations to benefit the COVID-19 relief effort
  • Call on world leaders to take emergency action to build a more sustainable and just world
  • Inspire millions to pledge to vote for our future.

For 50 years, we’ve been losing the fight for our planet. But we can make this the century we saved the world — starting on Earth Day. Here’s how you can spread the word and make this as big as possible.

The Coastal GasLink

Opinion

A worthwhile journey

The Coastal GasLink process was needlessly divisive

LNG Pipeline 20200301

It didn’t have to be this way.

After four days of meetings between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett and British Columbia Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser, an agreement appears to be reached to acknowledge Wet’suwet’en traditional leaders as rights holders over their territory.

The dispute over the Coastal GasLink pipeline isn’t over by any means — the majority of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs still oppose the project and the agreement must be presented to their nation — but this is the first step to reconcile what had become a national stalemate between traditional Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state.

The implications of Canada and B.C. recognizing a traditional Indigenous government are enormous. This not only ratifies the 1997 Supreme Court Delgamuukw decision (which also determined the Wet’suwet’en hold title over 22,000 square kilometres of territory) but opens the doorway for First Nations traditional forms of government — virtually gutting one of the most central tenets of the Indian Act: the Chief and Council system.

Now, Canada and B.C. must invite the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to treaty negotiations over land. The future role of the Wet’suwet’en Indian Act chiefs and councils — most of whom signed “benefit agreements” to receive money and jobs as a result of the pipeline — is now uncertain.

In fact, the future of the Indian Act may be in doubt too. For decades, consecutive federal governments have promised to remove the 148 year-old legislation intended to assimilate “Indians” into Canada. Now, pressure will be on as some First Nations may refuse to govern themselves according to the chief and council model. This, above the pipeline project itself, may be the lasting legacy of Sunday’s agreement.

Recognizing Indigenous traditional governments also represents an ironic moment where Canada and B.C. will follow the “rule of law.” Not only did the Supreme Court recognize Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in 1997 but last November the province of BC unanimously adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples via Bill 41, “The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.”

If B.C. follows through on implementing the Declaration, they must reconcile that Indigenous peoples “have the right to self-determination” (Article 3), “have the right to autonomy or self-government” (Article 4), and “the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social, and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the State” (Article 5).

In this, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs may have shown Canada what reconciliation could look like.

The immediate question though is what’s this mean for the Coastal GasLink pipeline? The agreement doesn’t address that question directly and Coastal GasLink announced Sunday “construction will resume.”

Well Canada’s “duty to consult” under section 35 of the constitution is fulfilled, this will end in the courts.

This could be found through B.C.’s Bill 41, which directs the provincial government to appoint a member of the B.C. cabinet to “negotiate and enter into an agreement with an Indigenous governing body” over any use of Indigenous lands and resources, with the purpose to obtain “the consent of the Indigenous governing body before the exercise of a statutory power of decision.”

These negotiations could even include Indian Act chiefs and councils — appeasing political opponents and even some Wet’suwet’en who believe in them — but this will take time, energy, and resources. This may be exactly what Canada, B.C., and the Wet’suwet’en need — as cooler and calmer airs will likely be found.

Time, however, may be up for the Coastal GasLink’s $6.6-billion 670-kilometre pipeline project (190 kilometres cross Wet’suwet’en territory).

The cost of building the project is already exponentially increasing and if an alternative route is agreed upon this will add hundreds of millions more. Meanwhile, the price of oil and gas is dropping (especially with the coronavirus), the pipeline will consume a huge share of B.C.’s carbon budget, and fracking for gas and the burning of fossil fuels are lacking wide-scale public support.

Soon, the only argument for the pipeline will be within the subsidies, grants, and commitments Canada gives to the corporate sector — who will, in the end, choose profits over the jobs and money the project promises.

Sunday’s agreement may have come from discord, blockades, and a loss of investment but may result in a new relationship with Indigenous nations, the law being followed, and long-term savings due to the cancellation of an unsustainable project with much fewer benefits than advertised.

The journey may be worthwhile but the path was divisive — and it didn’t need to be.

niigaan.sinclair@freepress.mb.ca

Canadian Pipline Protests

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-where-are-the-solidarity-protests-for-the-first-nations-that-support/

Where are the solidarity protests for the First Nations that support Coastal GasLink?

The demonstrations you’re thinking of – such as this one seen on Feb. 8, 2020 – were in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the $6-billion, 670-kilometre pipeline across northern B.C. It’s

Dirk Meissner/The Canadian Press

There have been no major demonstrations this week in solidarity with the First Nations people along the Coastal GasLink route who are waiting for change to come to their communities.

There have been no blockades disrupting VIA Rail trains; nothing in midtown Toronto; no one outside the B.C. Legislature; no disruptions on the Reconciliation Bridge in Calgary; no stopping of traffic in downtown Ottawa; and no protests along busy Vancouver intersections.

The demonstrations you’re thinking of were in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the $6-billion, 670-kilometre pipeline across northern B.C. It’s their slogans that have been broadly adopted, their opinions that are being mirrored in protest and their case that has been taken up so fervently by supporters all across Canada.

Wet’suwet’en chiefs vs. Coastal GasLink: A guide to the dispute over a B.C. pipeline

Opinion: What is happening on Wet’suwet’en territory shows us that reconciliation is dead

The voices of band members from 20 First Nations along the Coastal GasLink project route who want it to continue – those who have indicated, through elections or other means, that they want construction on the natural gas pipeline to move ahead – have been eclipsed by the views of a small group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who hold jurisdiction over just a portion of the land the pipeline will cover.

 

The inconvenient truth for pipeline supporters: root causes of this revolution will not be televised

https://www.straight.com/news/1360051/inconvenient-truth-pipeline-supporters

That’s to say nothing of the importance of the Unist’ot’en Healing Center in decolonizing Wet’suwet’en people by reconnecting them to the land.

Here’s another inconvenient truth: there’s probably never been a pipeline project in Canada that the vast majority of Postmedia columnists haven’t adored.

In 1970, musician Gil Scott-Heron recorded “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”—and the slogan’s origins date back to the Black Power movement of the 1960s.

In a similar manner, those rebelling against the fossil-fuel industry shouldn’t expect to see sympathetic treatment from media outlets in these rebellious times.

That’s because the root causes of this climate and Indigenous revolution will not be televised. To borrow a phrase from Scott-Heron, this revolution will be live

 

Action Needed in Canada!

 

All eyes on Wet’suwet’en
Mon, Feb 10, 2020 12:01 pm
Cherri Foytlin (leauestlaviecamp@gmail.com)To:you Details
Greetings Water Protector Family,

We are writing to pass along some urgent updates from our Wet’suwet’en relatives whose unceded territories are currently being invaded by Canada’s national police, known as the RCMP. Over the past four days the RCMP has been laying siege upon indigenous land defenders and acting as a military escort for TC Energy (which is TransCanada’s new name) as they attempt to build their Coastal Gas Link pipeline. The information below comes directly from the front lines and we strongly encourage everyone to take action and stand in solidarity with the land defenders of the Unist’ot’en camp. Please follow the links below.

EXCERPT FROM UNIST’OT’EN PRESS RELEASE
Unist’ot’en demands the RCMP will not evict the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre. The RCMP has no jurisdiction to enter the Healing Centre without our Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Even under colonial law, the RCMP cannot enter or search our Healing Centre without a warrant.

International public support is called for to ensure the safety of the Healing Centre. People living and receiving treatment there are not in violation of CGL’s injunction, nor is the Healing Centre itself in violation of the injunction. The Healing Centre exists to support the self-determination and healing of our people and is unrelated to CGL’s work and the injunction.

Unist’ot’en is outraged over the use of excessive force by the RCMP, including the unnecessary use of heavily armed tactical teams deployed by helicopters to surround Gidimt’en camp at 44 km, use of snipers, and deployment of K9 units. We know that in January 2019, RCMP were authorized to use genocidal lethal force, arrest children and grandparents, and apprehend Wet’suwet’en children in response to our peaceful presence on our lands.

Throughout the enforcement of CGL’s injunction, media and legal observers were illegally corralled and threatened with detention and arrest for doing their jobs. Freedom of the press is protected under Canadian law but journalists were prevented from documenting the RCMP militarized raids on Gidimt’en territories. The RCMP attempted to evict residents from Chief Woos’s cabin. The RCMP and Coastal GasLink also partially dismantled Gidimt’en camp infrastructure and property. This property belongs to the Gidimt’en Clan and the RCMP has no legal authority to destroy it.

On February 8, the exclusion zone was illegally expanded from the 27 KM to the 4 KM mark, and now encompasses the majority of Gidimt’en territory. As a result, eleven people including legal observers were illegally arrested from the 27 km cabin. The exclusion zone has been created by the RCMP to force Wet’suwet’en land defenders off ourland. It is a colonial and criminalizing tool to illegally and arbitrarily extend RCMP authority onto our lands. The massive exclusion zone, completely under RCMP authoritarian discretion, falls outside the injunction area. Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en people are illegally being denied access to their own territories.

We urge Canada to adhere to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) directives and to halt the Coastal Gaslink project, seek Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, withdraw RCMP from our territories and ensure that no lethal weapons or force be used to forcibly evict Wet’suwet’en people from our lands.

TODAYS UPDATES FROM THE FRONT LINES:8:40 am – RCMP on megaphone at #Unistoten bridge: “This is the RCMP. This airspace is now restricted. Do not operate any drone in this area. This restriction is approved by transport Canada.” Freda Huson: “This is not Canada! You are invaders! LEAVE!”

8:39 am – RCMP officers climbing snowbank

8:35 am – RCMP approaching bridge at 66km. 3 SUVs, one large van, line of trucks behind. Matriarchs are drumming and singing on the bridge, walking through the red dresses of their stolen sisters.

8:22 am – Unist’ot’en matriarchs drumming on bridge, as RCMP convoy advances.

8:16 am – RCMP and CGL convoy is now passing the 44 km mark on the way to Unist’ot’en (66km)

7:21 am – RCMP convoy is rolling up towards 66km now from 4km mark.

7:01 am – Convoy of 16 RCMP vehicles, mostly tactical stopped at 3km. 4 snowmobiles. Headed to Unist’ot’en.

6:50 am – Convoy of RCMP tactical vehicles just left the community hall in town and are headed down Hwy 16.

________________

Even if FB and Twitter feeds go down, this page on the website will still be updated: http://unistoten.camp/feb10

#WetsuwetenStrong #ReconciliationIsDead #alleyesonWetsuweten #waterislife #shutdowncanada #unistoten #gidimten #landback #thetimeisnow
Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit: http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020

Unist’ot’en Legal Fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund

Call out for Solidarity Actions:
http://unistoten.camp/alleyesonwetsuweten/

Thank you for your support of indigenous resistance. Please continue to follow live updates as they come and please do what you can to organize an action in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en camp.

Hope to see you on the front lines,
Cherri Foytlin

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News from Canada: Action Now!

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/the-press-pool/royal-canadian-mounted-police-raid-unceded-wet-suwet-en-land-six-arrested-POEHsecli0W1zx2fo8p8XA?utm_source=maven-coalition&utm_medium=salish&utm_campaign=email&utm_term=notification&utm_content=unread-notification

 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police raid unceded Wet’suwet’en land, six arrested

 

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International day of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Monday February 10

News Release

Indigenous Environmental Network

Early this morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided Wet’suwet’en territories to push forward the unwanted Coastal GasLink pipeline. Six Indigenous peoples and their allies were arrested.

The Wet’suwet’en have been very clear that they do not want the C$6.6 billion, 416 mile long CGL pipeline going through their unceded and sovereign lands. Coastal GasLink/TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is pushing through a 670-kilometer fracked gas pipeline that would carry fracked gas from Dawson Creek, B.C. to the coastal town of Kitimat, where LNG Canada’s processing plant would be located. LNG Canada is the single largest private oil and gas investment in Canadian history.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers with night vision and automatic weapons raided the camp in the dead of night. Much like at Standing Rock — the raid was highly militarized — dogs were used, media was banned from filming arrests, Royal Canadian Mounted Police smashed the windows of the camp’s communications van.

You can support camp by donating here:
https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund

Download the Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit 2020 here
http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/

Hold a solidarity action:

Pictured: "International days of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en" flyer.
Pictured: “International days of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en” flyer.(Image: Indigenous Environmental Network)

Find A Solidarity Action Near You:
https://www.facebook.com/events/186688865753897/

COVER.Trans-Mountain-Reconciliation.jpg

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2020/02/05/Federal-Court-Trans-Mountain-Ruling-Betrays-Reconciliation/

Federal Court’s Trans Mountain Ruling Betrays Principles of Reconciliation

The decision found Trudeau government met the minimum legal requirements. For Indigenous peoples, that’s not enough.

Judith Sayers 5 Feb 2020 | TheTyee.ca Judith Sayers (Kekinusuqs) is from the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni, B.C. She President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria in Business and Environmental Studies.

 

 

The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold federal government approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is devastating for the First Nations that launched the legal challenge.

The nine nations argued they had not been consulted properly before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet approved the pipeline. The second attempt at consultation was the result of an earlier court decision rejecting a first round of consultations as flawed.

Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation summed up the impact.

“Reconciliation stopped today,” he said.