Freda Huson: “I’m pissed!”
“Your law can bend the rules to let somebody come in and destroy our land and get you guys [RCMP] to help them. If it was your house, you’d feel the same if the same vandals keep coming and wrecking your shit…No where in the injunction does it tell them they can frickin ruin my stuff. I’m pissed!”
A few of the comments:
from the whole of my heart, I am so deeply sorry.
Bottled water and tobacco !? Cripes almighty
And after what happened in Elsipogtog, never accept their tobacco!
Invasion: In an Era of Reconciliation, Indigenous Land is Being Taken at Gunpoint (2019) by Films For Action, Nov 1, 2019 unistoten.camp
INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.
The Unist’ot’en Camp has been a beacon of resistance for nearly 10 years. It is a healing space for Indigenous people and settlers alike, and an active example of decolonization.
The violence, environmental destruction, and disregard for human rights following TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) / Coastal GasLink’s interim injunction has been devastating to bear, but this fight is far from over.
Organize a community screening of this film!
To Learn More: http://unistoten.camp/
To Donate: http://unistoten.camp/support-us/donate/
A few comments to the film:
The whole world is watching what the criminal corporations are doing to these people and their unceded land. These people are sovereign beings. Foreign governments such as Canada have no right to touch these lands or people. Coastal Gas Link have no right to access their land. It’s an illegal corporate invasion. We have no need of the Coastal Gas Link products.
Incredible production thank you for documenting this so beautifully for the world to see
Keep on doing your beautiful work against our outrageous system! My heart is with you from Quebec!
FORCIBLY REMOVING INDIGENOUS PEOPLE FROM THEIR HOME LANDS…CANADA IS TRESPASSING…
The press calling them “pipeline protesters” is pretty disingenuous.
THEY ARE MAKING DECLARATIONS, CANADA HAS NO JURISDICTION ON NON-TREATY FIRST NATION LAND…NO JURISDICTION, NO AUTHORITY…EVEN THE COURTS HAVE NO JURISDICTION…
Refer also to:
2018: Canadian government document calls Unist’ot’en leader ‘aboriginal extremist’ by Justin Brake, ATPN News
Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation say their territory and sovereignty are under attack by a pipeline company that’s turning to the courts for help in building a pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en lands.
But federal government documents obtained by APTN News reveal the odds may already be stacked against the Wet’suwet’en, and in particular the Unist’ot’en House of the Gilseyhu Clan, which the government regards as a risk to Canada’s “national interest” and one of its leaders an “aboriginal extremist”.
The documents, dated April 1, 2015 [by the date, that would have been under the Harper govt, which was racist, not that Trudeau is much of an improvement, if any] and marked “SECRET”, also reveal the government’s concern that ending the years-long Unist’ot’en resistance to pipeline development through their territory could trigger nationwide Indigenous-led protests.
… The documents obtained by APTN come from the Government Operations Centre (GOC), an office of the Department of Public Safety that compiles information from other departments and police and intelligence agencies to identify potential threats to what the government regards as Canada’s national interest. [Translation being anyone who doesn’t bend over and fully support oil and gas industry harms, pollution and law violations?]
The 12-page report assesses the Unist’ot’en’s risk to the national interest as “Medium-Low”. A section titled “Impact on the National Interest” appears to offer details on this conclusion but is entirely redacted.
The report contains no expressed concern for the Unist’ot’en or discussion around whether the potential resource development on their territory poses a risk to their Indigenous rights.
The Unist’ot’en say the person referred to in the government document is not an extremist, but a hereditary chief.
They suspect Canada and the RCMP will try to portray them as potentially violent and as criminals if police are compelled by the provincial supreme court to remove the Unist’ot’en from their land.
Returning to the land
In 2010, after learning of various companies’ interest in transporting oil and gas through their territories to the B.C. coast, Wet’suwet’en citizens Freda Huson of the Unist’ot’en House and Smogelgem, Hereditary Chief of the Laksamshu Clan— who is also known as Warner Naziel—moved out on to their lands to build a camp, in part as a way to resist what they see as unauthorized encroachment on their territory.
Huson and Naziel are the two individuals named on Coastal GasLink’s injunction application, along with “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” and “persons unknown”.
What’s now widely known as the “Unist’ot’en Camp” has since become a home and a place of healing for Wet’suwet’en people, Smogelgem told APTN in a phone interview from Smithers, where he and other hereditary chiefs gathered last week to discuss the injunction, he said.
“That’s our permanent home and we’re planning on living out the rest of our lives there,” he said.
Smogelgem said moving from a nearby community and back onto their traditional lands has “become a way of life” for he and Huson and others who stay with them.
“We live off the land. We do a lot of trapping and hunting and fishing up there. We collect our medicines. We pick all the berries. We sustain ourselves primarily off of our territory, and that’s the way our ancestors were.”
In addition to it being their home, Huson and Smogelgem have overseen the construction, with the help of volunteers, of a three-storey healing centre where they house citizens of their Nation in need of support with addiction and other health issues.
… Huson said the Unist’ot’en have filmed the encounters for evidence of their people’s intentions and behaviour.
“We’ve always been peaceful and we’ve always been respectful,” she said. “It was their workers who haven’t been respectful…who go back and claim we threatened them.” [Because that is to discredit valid and reasonable concerns by respectful peaceful courageous people. AER, Alta govt, RCMP, Alberta Environment did the same to me, even though I didn’t break the law, the govt, AER and Encana did.]
… In its court application Coastal GasLink says it has “entered into project agreements with all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the Project route, including five Wet’suwet’en Bands.”
The company says the Unist’ot’en “blockade is causing damage and irreparable harm.”
“It is not my problem that they didn’t follow proper business practice to ensure that the land you’re going to try to utilize, that you got permission from the title holders,” said Huson.
“When you hear they have 100 per cent support from First Nations along this proposed pipeline route, those are elected bands and not one pipeline goes through those reserves where elected officials have jurisdiction,” Chief Na’Moks, hereditary chief of the Wet’suwet’en Tsayu Clan, told APTN in a phone interview.
“The territory itself—the jurisdiction there—belongs to the people and the hereditary chiefs and the names that we carry.”
The hereditary chiefs may have a strong case if they end up in court, according to Métis lawyer Bruce McIvor, who runs First Peoples Law in Vancouver.
“This is one of the huge outstanding issues now in Aboriginal law: who gets to speak for the Indigenous people? It’s one of the most difficult, thorny things to unravel as part of decolonization,” McIvor said.
“We have hundreds of Indian Act bands across the country and a lot of the time those bands may not align with the traditional governance [systems].”
The Wet’suwet’en, he explained, “have a very complicated governance system” compared to other Indigenous peoples.
“They have their various clans and houses and they’re quite numerous. And they don’t necessarily align with the Indian Act governance system.”
McIvor said the Unist’ot’en’s case is strengthened by the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1997 Delgamuukw decision.
“They’re not operating in a vacuum when it comes to Canadian law,” he says. “The Gitxsan and the Wet’suwet’en led extensive evidence about their governance systems as part of the Delgamuukw trial. It’s there, it’s on the record — how it works. And then of course how it’s very different than the Indian Act chief and council system.”
McIvor said if the provincial or federal governments want to “override” the Office of the Wet’suwet’en decision not to let the pipeline through their territory, “then they’re held to a very high [legal] standard in order to try and justify the entrenchment of title.”
TransCanada applied for an injunction and a civil lawsuit against Unist’ot’en Camp. They’re seeking an injunction & damages for “occupying, obstructing, blocking, physically impeding or delaying access” to our own unceded territory. Statement: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/posts/2303645419709690 … #nopipelines
In its application the company said the project “is at a point where unimepeded access is now required to complete the work necessary to finalize execution plans and permitting, and continue with construction of the project.”
Without unimpeded access to the site, they say, “the project cannot proceed”. [YES, IT CAN, THEY CAN DIVERT AROUND]
“We will protect our lands as we see fit”
In its risk assessment report of the Unist’ot’en “blockade” the GOC regards the Unisto’ot’en camp as “the ideological and physical focal point of Aboriginal resistance to resource extraction projects.”
It also reveals government was aware TransCanada would pursue legal avenues to deal with the Unist’ot’en. [Wouldn’t suprise me if the courts and govt lawyers coached the company on how to proceed and trample on the rights of the Unist’ot’en]
“TransCanada has signaled that it will seek a British Columbia Provincial Court injunction presumably to have the protesters and blockade removed,” the document reads, and that the injunction “is expected to be sought in April 2015.”
TransCanada, through Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd., finally applied for that injunction on Nov. 26.
In a statement posted on its website last Thursday, Coastal GasLink says its decision to seek the injunction against the Unist’ot’en “was not taken lightly,” and that “after years of attempting to engage the blockade to work through a solution, this step has become a last resort and a necessary action in our efforts to safely gain access to the area.
“As we have done in the past, we will continue to keep the lines of communications open to work towards a mutually beneficial outcome.”
The GOC document says if an injunction is enforced, “there is concern that violence could result.” [By our govt and courts directing the police to violence?]
The government believes that “other groups may use this violence as a trigger to protest against other federal initiatives,” adding the protests could centre around other issues important to Indigenous people, including missing and murdered Indigenous women, the environment, and Bill C-51, the Harper government’s controversial 2015 anti-terrorism legislation.
The feds believed at the time that the response to police enforcing the injunction could amount to “efforts to obstruct site access to pipeline companies, coupled with aggressive and threatening language, and potentially property damage to equipment.”
That prediction was “based on historical precedence, with confrontations occurring during 2014 between pipeline companies and protesters that resulted in the RCMP attending in order to keep the peace.”
Ultimately though, the GOC rated the “severity of those events…as LOW,” the document reads.
“Past assessments…suggest that these types of events are not highly functional due to a lack of the organization’s ability to garner the support of large groups. There is no indication that ongoing protests and blockades have been endorsed by local band councils or First Nation chiefs.” [Of which how many have been coerced or bought off into submission?]
Injunction coincides with government’s commitment to Indigenous rights framework
Huson believes the “aboriginal extremist” referred to in the report is Hereditary Chief Smogelgem, since Huson and Smogelgem are widely regarded as the camp’s leaders, and since the GOC reveals the gender of the individual it’s referencing.
In a written statement to APTN Public Safety Canada said it “cannot comment on matters before the courts,” but that “our government vigorously defends the rights of all Canadians to peaceful assembly and demonstration.” [Bullshit!]
The department says is “does not collect information about groups or individuals [and] relies on partner departments and agencies [Like biased, law violating, cover-up agentes extraordinaire Charter-violating AER or OGC?] to provide analysis on threat assessments to the GOC.
The GOC in turn “compiles this information to identify potential impacts and to plan for whole of government consequence management response. Its job is simply to be aware of significant public events in case the Government is called upon to help.” [No it’s not, it’s to use against citizens the govt doesn’t like, especially those that are intelligent and courageous. Does the govt have a list of Rebel Media staff, sponsors, donors and supporters? They are a much greater threat to Canadians and communities than anyone saying no to pipelines or frac’ing to protect their drinking water and community health]
“Fulfilling these obligations should be a priority, as the United Nations has repeatedly urged,” he said.
After generations of colonization the Wet’suwet’en have finally “realized what we’ve lost,” said Huson.
“We’ve got only like 10 per cent of our traditional territory left,” she explained, citing municipalities, farming, mining, logging and other resource development that has encroached on her people’s lands.
“That’s why we’re grasping on to that 10 per cent so tightly right now, because our lives depend on it. We’re grasping on to it so we can practice our traditional ways of medicine, berry-picking, hunting, fishing.
“All these natural resources that are valuable to us you cannot replace.”
Chief Na’Moks said the hereditary chiefs “have banned pipelines in our territories in our house of parliament, and our people have supported that.
“We will stand to protect our territory.”
Oh Racist Colonial Canada: As vile under Trudeau as Harper! Police prepared to shoot Wet’suwet’en land defenders; Documents show Commanders argued “lethal overwatch is req’d” – a term for deploying snipers – like in Elsipotog in 2013. RCMP commanders also instructed officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want.” PS Merry Christmas.