Wet’suwet’en Land Re-occupations:
Several Wet’suwet’en clans have re-occupied their traditional territories (outside of the reservations alloted by alloted by Canada), in order to revitalize their culture, traditional harvesting practices, and generations of storytelling embedded in the land. These re-occupations include:
Unist’ot’en Village: Gilseyhu clan, Dark House
Talbits Kwa territory, which belongs to Dark House
Head Hereditary Chief Knedebeas
Spokesperson: Hawilhkat / Freda Huson
Unist’ot’en Village is an Indigenous re-occupation of traditional territory. Over the past 10 years, Dark House members and supporters have built a series of cabins, a permaculture garden, greenhouse, and a Healing Center to support members of the Wet’suwet’en community who are healing from addiction and colonial trauma. Unist’ot’en has implemented a Free Prior and Informed Consent protocol in accordance with UNDRIP and Wet’suwet’en law that requires any visitors to the territory to seek the consent of Dark House Hereditary Chiefs. This protocol was in place until the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline company, with support from the RCMP, forcibly entered the territory without consent to begin work on the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in January 2019. Unist’ot’en village is located 66km along the Morice River West forest service road, across the Morice River (Wedzin Kwah) Bridge. Dark House continues to run healing programs for clients at the Healing Center, despite continued industry destruction and police harassment.
Gidimt’en Access Point: Gidimt’en clan, Cas Yikh (Grizzly) House
Lhudis Bin territory, which belongs to Cas Yikh house
Head Hereditary Chief Woos
Spokesperson: Sleydo / Molly Wickham
In Dec. 2018, in the Witset feast hall, the Gidimt’en clan announced their intention to set up a checkpoint at 44 km along the Morice River forest service road. The checkpoint would serve to protect Cas Yikh territory, as well as Dark House’s neighbouring territory (Talbits Kwa), including the Unist’ot’en Healing Center. The access point includes a number of canvas tents, a yurt, an outdoor kitchen, timber frame cabin, children’s play areas and gathering places. They host cultural events, hunting and berry picking workshops, and provide a space for Wet’suwet’en families, elders and children to access the land for cultural practices. The camp is located beside Ts’el Ka’i’ kwe (Lamprey creek), which is a traditional campsite, fishing site, and gathering place. On January 7, 2019, the camp was violently raided by heavily militarized RCMP in order to enforce Coastal GasLink’s interim injunction and ensure CGL’s access to Dark House territory for pipeline construction. After the raid, CGL demolished a number of camp structures to make room for construction equipment, and the RCMP temporarily occupied the site as a surveillance post until it was reclaimed by Gidimt’en clan members. It continues to operate as a gathering place for Wet’suwet’en people and the revitalization of their culture.
Likhts’amisyu – Parrot Lake Village
The Sovereign Likhts’amisyu Village is an Indigenous reoccupation of a former Wet’suwet’en village site at Parrot Lakes. Since mid-2019, Likhts’amisyu members and supporters have built an outdoor kitchen and a series of log cabins, with the long-term vision of creating an environmentally sustainable community, interpretive trails, building a climate research facility, and protecting sacred sites on unceded Likhts’amisyu territory.
Wet’suwet’en – RCMP Continue to Enforce Court Injunction by James Murray, NetNewLedger, Feb 9, 2020
The Likhts’amisyu are one of the 5 Wet’suwet’en Clan Groups. Since the last Ice Age we have governed ourselves on the ancestral territories without the influence of other Wet’suwet’en Clans or other Nations. For thousands of generations the protection and occupation of our lands have been central to how we derived our authority and sustained ourselves.
We are made up of three Houses: the Sun House; the Owl House; and the Twisted House. The Houses are lead by the Head Chief Smogelgem of the Sun House, the Head Chief Kloum Kuhn of the Owl House, and the Twisted House continues to be vacant of a Head Chief since the devastating disease epidemics which wiped out about 80% of our entire Wet’suwet’en population.
Today, the Likhts’amisyu are publicly mobilizing to reassert our authority on our lands. We have shown unwavering support to the Unist’ot’en since they’ve started their campaigns to stop Pipelines and Mining on their lands. When the Gidimt’en started their Access Point Occupation we showed up to lend our unwavering support.
We will be entering a path of litigation and occupation on our Yintahs. A law firm has been retained to assist us with the litigation front. Costs for the litigation path will quickly accumulate. A prefabricated cabin is packaged and ready to move onto our territories.
We need to ensure that corporate and state plans do not infringe and threaten our ability to govern and sustain ourselves. We are looking for people who can assist us with our goals of fundraising for this endeavor.
Our mission is to slow the acceleration of Climate Change and to restore and protect the Biodiversity of our Region. We strive to continue to educate and alert people about the effects of oil and gas extraction on our biosphere. Our litigation team is poised to help us take the lead in enforcing and changing Environmental Laws so that it reflects the crisis in which we are all in today.
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