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.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
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.”
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.Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Call For UN Intervention
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.
Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project FAQIndigenous engagement and consultation, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project
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.