In the News
Two Years After First RCMP Raid on Wet’suwet’en Territory
Gidimt’en Land Defenders Make Submission to United Nations
On February 7, Gidimt’en land defenders made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People on the “Militarization of Wet’suwet’en Lands and Canada’s Ongoing Violations.” The submission was co-authored by leading legal, academic, and human rights experts in Canada, and is supported by over two dozen organizations such as the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Amnesty International-Canada.
The submission to the U.N. by Hereditary Chief Dinï ze’ Woos (Frank Alec), Gidimt’en Checkpoint Spokesperson Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), and Gidimt’en Checkpoint Media Coordinator Jen Wickham details how forced industrialization by Coastal GasLink and police militarization on Wet’suwet’en land is a violation of Canada’s international obligations as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
In their submission, they write: “Ongoing human rights violations, militarization of Wet’suwet’en lands, forcible removal and criminalization of peaceful land defenders, and irreparable harm due to industrial destruction of Wet’suwet’en lands and cultural sites are occurring despite declarations by federal and provincial governments for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. By deploying legal, political, and economic tactics to violate our rights, Canada and BC are contravening the spirit of reconciliation, as well as their binding obligations to Indigenous law, Canadian constitutional law, UNDRIP and international law.”
“We urge the United Nations to conduct a field visit to Wet’suwet’en territory because Canada and BC have not withdrawn RCMP from our territory and have not suspended Coastal GasLink’s permits, despite the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calling on them to do so. Wet’suwet’en is an international frontline to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples and to prevent climate change. Yet we are intimidated and surveilled by armed RCMP, smeared as terrorists, and dragged through colonial courts. This is the reality of Canada,” Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo’ said.
The full Gidimt’en Land Defenders submission “Militarization of Wet’suwet’en Lands and Canada’s Ongoing Violations” is available here.
(Renewal Update, posted February 10, 2022)