Unist’ot’en Healing Centre

The Unist’ot’en Healing Centre is described below. As important as it is in its own right, the Healing Centre is now the focus of attention regarding the approval of the Coastal Gaslink (CGL) pipeline.

Tues, January 21, 2020

CGL is required to submit a report to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) addressing the impacts of the project and its proposed mitigation measures. The report is incomplete, as CGL failed to consider or even mention the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre. As a result, Unist’ot’en has requested that the EAO continue to withhold final permits for construction.
CGL failed to include any mention of the Unist’ot’en Healing Center, the most significant economic, social and health related institution within the study boundary, in their report.
Coastal Gaslink (CGL) Pipeline Lacks BC EAO Final Permits For Construction In Wet’suwet’en Territory

“We have faced centuries of colonial oppression, racism and traumatic experiences as Indigenous people. Our connection to land and the cultural practices that extend from this connection are the most effective source of resilience and healing for our people. The Unist’ot’en Healing Centre was built with the assistance of settler supporters working hand in hand with us to fund and construct the infrastructure that allows us to provide self-determined culturally rooted, land-based healing programming by, and for, Indigenous Peoples. It is the fruition of decades of planning and de-colonizing work. This vision of healing through cultural revitalization and reconnection to the land is the foundation of our land use plan, and it depends on healthy, intact land. It requires uninhibited access to our territory which contains all the relatives (aka, resources) necessary to comprehensively practice our culture including a pristine water source, plants, medicines and animals to sustain us, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Within the remaining intact Unist’ot’en territory, Talbitz Kwa, the location of the Centre, is uniquely suited to support this vision.”
– Karla Tait, Ph.D. Clinical Director of Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, Unist’ot’en House Member
Media contact: Tsewedielh@gmail.com

The safety and wellbeing of Unist’ot’en territory is under threat from TransCanada’s injunction application, which asks police to force a fracked gas pipeline through our home. We have hosted youth and womens’ gatherings, and the centre is currently home to serveral of our Wet’suwet’en people who are receiving treatment for addiction.


So many indigenous people and reporters have come out to Unist’ot’en land and found it to be healing experience, to live on the land and have a connection with the natural world and our teachings.

We saw the healing lodge as an opportunity to expand and offer this to our community members. We envision holding healing camps there. It is a chance to return to some of our traditional teachings and land-based wellness practices of our ancestors.

Our people have been impacted by intergenerational trauma, and disconnected from those practices.

We are part of something bigger than ourselves. I am hoping we can emphasize how those traditional ways relate to current healing practices, leading to more holistic ways of achieving physical, psychological, and spiritual balance.

Karla Tait http://unistoten.camp/come-to-camp/healing/


We’ve decided to build a Healing Center to bring our own people out here and bring healing to them spiritually, mentally, physically and use the space to make our people strong. Like the residential schools were used to take out Indian as a child we want to use this facility to put the Indian back in our children. Meaning our culture before people have our culture they’ll be strong and they’ll be able to stand on their own two feet and we’ll have a strong nation to learn to take care of ourselves and take care of our resources, take care of the land. If we take care of our land, then the land will take care of us. It’s an opportunity for us to use our values and our teachings and our conceptions of wellness and how to achieve that to support our community members and the Western system does an inadequate job.

We’re over-represented as indigenous people as children as adults in the correctional systems, with mental health disorders with higher rates of suicidal ideation and behavior we’re at risk because of those legacies of colonization and that disconnect from who we are as indigenous people.

I think one of the most powerful things about the potential with this Healing Center is that we can design the programming from an indigenous perspective on what wellness.  We don’t have many spaces that are our own for healing.

There’s a lot of incentives for our communities to look at these in industry partnerships for things like LNG or tar sands. It comes at a huge cost and it’s a cultural cost, it’s an identity crop cost. Essentially, it’s asking communities who are at a disadvantage really to sign on for short-term opportunities to feed their children without allowing them to consider the impacts on their grandchildren and the next generations.

To really have those opportunities to embrace their identity and who they are because so much of that for us is based on our land and our connection to the land and all the teachings.  In short, I would see those projects especially the ones proposed to run through this territory as a threat to us reclaiming and self-determining our own health.

Unist’ot’en Healing Centre video transcript

#WetsuwetenStrong #NoTrespass #DefendTheYintah #LandDefenders #WaterProtectors #RiseUp #LightYourSacredFires #AllEyesOnWetsuweten

This entry was posted in #NDAPL, climate change, decolonize, Indigenous, race, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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