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(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – November 18, 2021) In blind defense of fossil fuel expansion, the RCMP began a publicly funded siege on peaceful land defenders in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory this morning, while BC is in the middle of a state of emergency due to a climate crisis that the entire world is watching. At least 15 supporters have already been arrested; dozens of RCMP have been reported breaching Gidimt’en checkpoint.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) stated, “We are absolutely outraged that the Province of BC authorized a military-style raid on peaceful land defenders in order to allow Coastal GasLink (CGL) to build their Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline, while much of the Province is suffering from life-threatening, catastrophic flooding related events. The Province of BC continues to pretend that LNG can be clean energy and is a so-called ‘transition fuel’ when we know that LNG production carries critical environmental and health risks and is a non-renewable source of energy that requires incredibly large amounts of our precious water. Prioritizing fossil fuel expansion while British Columbians grapple with a climate emergency is an alarming, criminal and incredibly poor decision by Premier Horgan and Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. We are calling on BC and Canada to recognize and uphold Indigenous Title and Rights, including the right to self-determination, and institute a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion in the wake of clear and present climate catastrophe.”
On November 14, 2021, members of the Gidimt’en clan enforced the eviction of CGL workers from their lands and gave them eight hours to peacefully evacuate before the main road into the Lhudis Bin territory of the Gidimt’en clan was closed. These Gidimt’en members are upholding ancient Wet’suwet’en trespass laws and an eviction notice served by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to CGL in 2020. UBCIC does not support or condone violence of any form and remains deeply committed to the recognition and implementation of the Title and Rights of all Indigenous peoples in Canada. UBCIC hopes to see a peaceful resolution of conflict through open dialogue and the respecting of Wet’suwet’en authority and laws. We stand in solidarity with all Nations who working together to ensure Canada and B.C. uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and stop any violent or discriminatory practices against peaceful land defenders.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o 778-866-0548
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca and follow Gidimt’en Checkpoint on Twitter.
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