In the News June 11
Defend the Right of Wet’suwet’en to Uphold Their Hereditary Rights
Update from Gidimt’en Yintah
This week on the Gidimt’en Yintah, spokesperson Sleydo’ continues to build a balhats (Feast Hall) on the Yintah amid constant surveillance and trespass on the work site by the RCMP. The Feast Hall is being built by Gidimt’en Checkpoint with the help of Wet’suwet’en interns. This massive project is well underway, with floor and log work construction now happening.
The occupation of the Yintah with traditional governance systems is deeply meaningful towards assertion of unbroken sovereignty, and this governance happens in the Feast Hall. Unlike the band chief and council, which govern reserve lands under the Indian Act, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have maintained continuous and full jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en Territory since time immemorial. Governance requires the collective House Group Dini ze’ and Ts’ake ze’ to come to consensus, and all territory decisions must be ratified in the Feast Hall.
The 1997 Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Delgamuukw/Gisdaywa court case affirmed that Wet’suwet’en title, based on the traditional clan governance system, has never been extinguished. We celebrate the achievement of bringing Wet’suwet’en Governance back to the Yintah after many years of colonial displacement, and demand that the RCMP vacate the work site.
The Feast Hall is being built on a village site, a place which carries important stories and is home to the endangered Lamprey Eel. Protection of vulnerable ecologies is inherently nested with Land Back and RCMP Off The Yintah. These resurgence principals return land to Indigenous Stewardship, and prevent enormously destructive projects, such as Coastal GasLink and the proposed Telkwa Mine, from eradicating what little ecological resilience is left in industrialized and militarized space, such as the Yintah is becoming.
With over 50 police on the ground this week alone, it is time for the RCMP to cease all surveillance, abide by Wet’suwet’en, Canadian and International Laws, and get off the Yintah.
TML Daily, posted June 11, 2022.