Unist’ot’en evict developers, gain international support

The Unist’ot’en, part of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, have once again prohibited further development on territory south of Houston.

A rally in support of the Unist’ot’en eviction of Apache Canada from their claimed territory in front of the Royal Bank on Main Street in Smithers last Tuesday.

The Unist’ot’en, part of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, have once again prohibited further development on territory south of Houston, claiming it is unceded First Nation land.

For their stance, the Unist’ot’en are receiving wide-spread support in the form of rallies across North America and have even sent Freda Huson abroad to spread the message of their plight.

In Smithers more than 20 people gathered in front of the Royal Bank (RBC) on Main Street because RBC invested nearly $4 billion towards pipeline development, according to a Unist’ot’en pamphlet distributed at the rally.

“Right now we’re in Gitumden territory,” Mel Bazil said, acknowledging the Wet’suwet’en stewards of the area where Smithers sits.

“The Gitumden are responsible for this land and the shared responsibility of all people while we’re here.”

Although it is clear the Unist’ot’en have support at the grassroots level, support from corporations and the senior level of government is lacking, Bazil said.

“These companies, these banks, these governments are not asking permission,” Bazil said.

“The’yre telling us, ‘this is our process and you can join our process and you can acknowledge us as the keepers of these lands.’”

“That’s not where we’re at.”

The Unist’ot’en presented Apache Canada with an eagle feather, which represents a first and only notice of trespass, on Nov. 20, 2012 along the proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline route.

Some Unist’ot’en members built a log cabin along the proposed pipeline route and they don’t plan on leaving until they are certain developers get their message.

The Unist’ot’en put out a call to help develop international support for their cause.

Rallies in Ottawa, Toronto, Victoria, Vancouver, Prince George, California, New York and at Apache’s headquarters in Houston, Texas, were all held at noon last Tuesday.

Huson was in Trinidad and Tobago to speak at an environmental conference while the protests in her homeland were taking place.

“I shared my peoples’ struggle in Canada,” Huson said.

“About how government and industry continue to issue permits for projects that destroy our lands.”

Persistence is necessary when dealing with industry and government, according to Adam Gagnon, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief.

“I fought the fight along with the Gitxsan back in the 80s for fishery rights,” Gagnon said at the RBC rally.

“It took a while, but we ended up taking control of our fishery.”

“If we didn’t do that we’d still be getting pushed around by Department of Fisheries.”

Gagnon is looking forward to re-instating Wet’suwet’en traditional laws regarding the environment.

“It’s up to us to take responsibility and enforce our zero-tolerance laws on all the streams and rivers.”

The proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline will cross two major salmon spawning areas on the Witzinkwa (Morice) River, which is potentially detrimental to a staple Wet’suwet’en food source, according to Huson.

 

Just Posted

Holdover fires burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Hotcakes

On April 6 there was a community pancake breakfast held at the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read