Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Call For UN Intervention

I’m trying to learn about this conflict between the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. According to the news article below, some chiefs agreed to the pipeline project. But the Hereditary Chiefs say those chiefs did not have the authority to do that. At the end of this are statements by the Coastal GasLink company.

In the meantime, tensions are escalating, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) setting up an “exclusion zone.” A year ago the RCMP tore down temporary barriers and arrested 14 land protectors.

URGENT UPDATE: Jan 13, 2020, 2:40pm
RCMP have set up an “exclusion zone” at 27km and are blocking media, Wet’suwet’en people, and food from getting up to our territory.
This is a violation of our human rights, Wet’suwet’en law, and our constitutionally protected rights as Indigenous people.
Last time RCMP set up an “exclusion zone,” they had authorized lethal force against unarmed people. http://unistoten.camp/jan13/

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are asking the United Nations to monitor RCMP, government and Coastal GasLink (CGL) actions on their territory as tensions rise in their dispute with CGL.

The request follows a recent directive from the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination (CERD) which states Canada must halt the CGL pipeline project and withdraw RCMP from our territory in order to avoid further violations of Wet’suwet’en, constitutional, and international law.

The pipeline has not received consent from the hereditary chiefs and they say the chiefs who did agree to the development do not have consent to do so within the context of historical Wet’suwet’en law.

Professor Margot Young, a constitutional law expert at UBC’s Allard School of Law also weighed in on the situation, noting that the UN’s concerns can’t simply be cast aside.

“International law is absolutely central to resolution of this situation. All levels of government are bound by treaties signed by Canada, and Canadian constitutional law is to be informed by these human rights obligations.”

Hereditary chiefs call for UN intervention in CGL dispute. Hereditary chiefs have asked the UN to monitor RCMP, government and CGL actions on their territory. BC Local News, Jan 15, 2010

Smithers (BC) – Jan 13, 2020: Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have submitted a formal request to the United Nations to monitor RCMP, government and Coastal GasLink (CGL) actions on our traditional, unceded territory. This request follows the recent directive from the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination (CERD) requiring Canada to halt the CGL pipeline project and withdraw RCMP from our territory in order to avoid further violations of Wet’suwet’en, constitutional, and international law.

This weekend, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs invoked special communication procedures of the UN Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights. These procedures will allow joint input from UN experts specializing in the human rights protection of Indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, the environment, and those facing forced eviction. These UN human rights experts are independent authorities who monitor compliance with international human rights obligations, including rapporteurs on housing, environment, human rights, Indigenous peoples, and racism.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Call For UN Intervention

Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project FAQ

Coastal GasLink has the utmost respect for the First Nations system in British Columbia, whether that be elected or hereditary. It is out of this respect that we never made assumptions about who has decision-making authority. Instead, we strived to engage with all the Indigenous groups along the pipeline route—regardless of history or background—to ensure they’ve had opportunities to be part of our project planning process.

Since the project began in 2012, the Coastal GasLink team has engaged in a wide range of consultation activities with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en and directly with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. In fact, more than 1,300 phone calls and emails have occurred to discuss the project over the past six years, including approximately 120 in-person meetings specifically with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

Coastal GasLink is proud of the relationships it has built over the past seven years. We appreciate the strong support we have received from Indigenous groups during this process, including through all 20 project and community agreements that have been reached with the elected Indigenous bands along the project route.

We will ensure that Indigenous communities are informed about our project and have opportunities to provide input on the project.

Indigenous engagement and consultation, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project
This entry was posted in #NDAPL, decolonize, Indigenous, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Call For UN Intervention

  1. peterovisoke says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Do you know if there is a way to put pressure on the government in Ottawa? The provincial government in British Columbia? Is the B.C. government independent of Ottawa in this dispute? Even though we are U.S. citizens I think it can make a difference to have international pressure brought. That is no doubt why the U.N. is being called on to intervene.



    • jakisling says:

      I will be writing more about this. In the meantime:

      Sample Script for Horgan

      “I am writing to let you know that I am appalled at the prospect that you may shortly carry out another violent raid on unceded Wet’suwet’en territories. If you allow this raid to happen I will not vote for you or the NDP ever again. Call off your militarized police and meet the demands of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. The whole world is watching you and your government John.”

      Thank you for your ongoing commitment to this struggle,
      Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade

      Phone: (250) 391-2801
      Email: john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca
      Office: 122 – 2806 Jacklin Road Victoria, BC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s