Stop Criminalizing Indigenous Land Defenders

These videos tell the story of the most recent persecution of the Wet’suwet’en peoples by the Canadian government and the militarized Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They speak eloquently for themselves.

They point out what has been obvious to anyone watching the trucker protests the double standard of how the RCMP treat them versus the state sanctioned violence against Indigenous peoples.

Two warnings. There are scenes of police violence. And the song at the end of the first video includes words not appropriate for children but are for the message given.

Today, February 14th 2022, a day that we honour and remember all our relatives that go missing and are found murdered, our land defenders are attending court for upholding Wet’suwet’en law.

We live by our ancestors teachings and the laws that have been in place forever. We will defend our lives and way of living, as all those that came before have done, so that our children will not have to fight the same battles.

We are so grateful that so many nations and allies have stood with us. Their bravery and conviction will always be remembered. Today we stand united before a court that refuses to recognize its’ own rulings. Today we also support our Likhtsamisyu and Gitxan relatives as they appear in the same court for also upholding Wet’suwet’en law. We are all one.

This is a first appearance for all those that were arrested on November 18/19 2021. There are two others facing charges that were arrested and violently removed from Coyote Camp on Cas Yikh yintah appearing today as well.

The criminalization of our people and the blatant racism of the so-called justice system is especially pronounced now as we see how non-indigenous people are treated. The violence used against Indigenous women protecting Indigenous land is intentional. The kid gloves used in Ottawa is intentional. We will not allow this to continue for our children to grow up with.

For more information please visit yintahaccess.com on how to support and current campaigns.

Follow our social media pages for updates on today’s court and future proceedings.

Misiyh.


Following is some history related to support from various groups in Iowa for the Wet’suwet’en struggles.

January 26, 2020

Bear Creek Friends (Quaker) meetinghouse is in the Iowa countryside. Many members have been involved in agriculture and care about protecting Mother Earth. A number of Friends have various relationships with Indigenous peoples. Some Friends have worked to protect water and to stop the construction of fossil fuel pipelines in the United States, such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

We are concerned about the tensions involving the Wet’suwet’en Peoples, who are working to protect their water and lands in British Columbia. Most recently they are working to prevent the construction of several pipelines through their territory. Such construction would do severe damage to the land, water, and living beings.

Bear Creek Friends Meeting, of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) approved sending the following letter to British Columbia Premier, John Horgan.

John Horgan.
PO BOX 9041 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA, BC V8W 9E1.
Email premier@gov.bc.ca

John Horgan,

We’re concerned that you are not honoring the tribal rights and unceded Wet’suwet’en territories and are threatening a raid instead.

We ask you to de-escalate the militarized police presence, meet with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, and hear their demands:

That the province cease construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project and suspend permits.

That the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and tribal rights to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) are respected by the state and RCMP.

That the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the most recent letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimiation’s (CERD) request.

That the provincial and federal government, RCMP and private industry employed by Coastal GasLink (CGL) respect Wet’suwet’en laws and governance system, and refrain from using any force to access tribal lands or remove people.

Bear Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)
19186 Bear Creek Road, Earlham, Iowa, 50072

February 7, 2020

Several of us gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, for a vigil in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en peoples. Our friends at Bold Iowa and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) helped notify people about our vigil.

Feb 7, 2020

And photos from other events since that time.

#wetsuwetenstrong

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