An open letter to the public, RCMP, Canadian and provincial governments

Written by United Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation on December 28, 2018

Photo from the Unist’ot’en Camp website.

On December 21, 2018 on the sacred day of Winter Solstice, the Wet’sumwet’en Hereditary Chiefs of our five clans contemplated the events that have occurred over the past weeks in the colonial courts. In an act reminiscent of the early days of colonization, the chiefs were forbidden to wear their regalia in the halls of the Supreme Court and had their rights and title to our lands challenged and disregarded by renaming our high chiefs as John Doe and Jane Doe. The Wet’suwet’en reject the renaming of our sacred chiefs as Jane or John Doe and the outright denial of our traditional clan boundaries. We are Gitdumden and we are Wet’suwet’en and we are bound by our laws.

The Wet’suwet’en governance system is based on the five clans, thirteen House Chiefs, and collective membership in decision making and enforcement of Wet-suwet’en lands. Wet’suwet’en leadership has vowed to continue preventing oil and gas pipelines within our lands and waters by controlling access to anyone who does not have consent to be on Wet’suwet’en territories.

As per the Wet’suwet’en decision, by all five House Chiefs, in our bahlats (feast hall) on December 16th, 2018, in Witset, these Wet’suwet’en laws will continue to be enforced by a peaceful re-occupation of our homelands and validation of our right to traditional decision making in our unceded lands. As our clan members and allies continue to uphold their responsibilities, any acts of violence are forbidden by RCMP to the hereditary chiefs or the Wet’suwet’en grassroots movement and we invite the RCMP to continue respectful discussions with our hereditary chiefs. We will continue to work towards reconciliation efforts even though the issue has reached a stalemate.

Today we are faced with a climate catastrophe that will have global impacts to humanity and the earth we all call home.Today, while it is clear that we have an extremely limited window of opportunity to turn this sinking ship around, our governments continue to support fossil fuel extraction, export, and expansion and ignore Indigenous rights around the globe. Instead of finding solutions, our government is providing bailouts to destructive industry, as well as contracting RCMP to enforce their efforts against the Peoples whose lands, livelihoods, and future generations are at stake.

We call on the Nations, the international community, and all those who continue to uphold their natural laws and sustainable practices on the land to stand up to the provincial and federal governments and the investors of CGL. We say NO to trespass on our territories. We say YES to united Indigenous Peoples and a sustainable future for the territories we were born to protect.

For more information visit this Unist’ot’en Camp website.

Media contact: yintaaccess@gmail.com

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