It is a juxtaposition to see the rapidly accelerating, multiple effects of environmental devastation and chaos versus the struggles of Indigenous peoples trying to protect their pristine lands and waters. Such as the work of the Wet’suwet’en peoples in British Columbia.

I use the word pristine (in its original condition; unspoiled) when I think and write about the Wet’suwet’en because I am so moved by the beauty I see there. It makes me ill to think of the desecration of those lands and waters that would occur, is occurring there by pipeline construction.

I’ve often written about this photo I took and developed (in a darkroom) of Long’s Peak, in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. When this farm boy from Iowa moved to Indianapolis in 1970, I was horrified by the filthy air (this being before catalytic converters hid the damage). I was devastated by the thought of my beautiful mountains obscured by smog. This led me to live without a car.

Long’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park

To save a wilderness, or to be a writer or a cab driver or a homemaker — to live one’s life — one must reach deep into one’s heart and find what is there, then speak it plainly and without shame.

Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West by Robert Reid

This video, INVASION, shows many things. Most significantly for me are the images of the beautiful lands and waters. As soon as I saw it, I was drawn to the Wet’suwet’en struggles as if by a powerful magnet. And have done what I could in support since.

Also shown are the violent, militarized invasions (multiple) by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). And testimony at the United Nations permanent forum on Indigenous issues.

Everybody needs to stand up, not just Indigenous people. Everybody needs to stand up the political powers that be that they need to change. And quit making legislation and policies to make us look like criminals when we’re just trying to protect what is ours. It’s not just this little court house, the whole world is watching what Canada is doing. What the province of BC is doing. They haven’t done their job. They’re skirting the responsibility over to industry. I know I’m doing the right thing.

It’s inspiring to see the support world wide that we have and it’s not just our Indigenous people that are standing up. It’s people all around the world are concerned about the environment. And concerned because they know it impacts them no matter where they live.

(The United Nations) The fifth meeting of the 18th session of the permanent forum on Indigenous issues is called to order.

I am Freda Huson of the Unis’ot’en Wet’suwet’en people of Canada. I am here today to express concerns for human rights violations happening to my people. This year a pipeline company forced a court injunction on us. And if we stop them from entering our territory because they don’t have consent we face arrests.

They are trying to erase us from our own land. All these acts that continue are the acts of genocide. I am here today to make UN aware of our continuous genocide happening in Canada. And to demand that our Indigenous rights and laws are respected.

We’re wondering why our own people weren’t standing up besides us and the more and more we realize that a lot of my family that are standing up, all the females in my family. We’ve done a lot of healings in our lives, we’ve gone through the same trauma as everybody us in our reservations. That’s the reason why we’re able to stand up and stand up against what we know is wrong. So that’s what we identified, that other people aren’t able to stand up, because they’re still stuck in their trauma and oppression. And everything that comes with being oppressed and living in a system that discriminates against you.

Partial transcript from the video INVASION.

The struggles continue. This Thursday there will be an emergency Wet’suwet’en solidarity call out event.

Emergency Wet’suwet’en solidarity call out event, featuring Sleydo’
Thursday, May 26, 4pm PT / 7pm ET
Drilling underneath the sacred waters of the Wedzin Kwa could begin any day on Wet’suwet’en territory. On Thursday May 26, join us for “Sound the Alarm for Wet’suwet’en ” a live zoom meeting at 4pm PT / 7pm ET. 
With Sleydo’ Molly Wickham of Gidimt’en Checkpoint, together we’ll understand the situation on the ground and strategize together about how to #KillTheDrill.



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