Statement of Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en
Please scroll to the bottom of the letter and sign to show your solidarity!
We are standing as witnesses to this historic moment when the federal and provincial governments, RCMP, and Coastal GasLink/TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) are openly violating Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international law.
Coastal GasLink/TC Energy is pushing through a 670-kilometer fracked gas pipeline that would carry fracked gas from Dawson Creek, B.C. to the coastal town of Kitimat, where LNG Canada’s processing plant would be located. LNG Canada is the single largest private investment in Canadian history.
Each clan within the Wet’suwet’en Nation has full jurisdiction under their law to control access to their territory. Under ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law) all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided free, prior, and informed consent to Coastal Gaslink/ TransCanada to do work on Wet’suwet’en lands. Join us in standing in solidarity with these sacred land and water protectors!
Posted Thursday February 6, 2020
Peace be with you,
In solidarity with our Wet’suwet’en relatives, we call upon the government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to immediately cease their occupation, arrests, and trespassing on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territory.
In a public statement made yesterday, the RCMP have asserted that they will arrest any persons who will not leave their camps on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. Wet’suwet’en law precedes and supersedes Canadian law on Wet’suwet’en land. The militarized forced removal of Wet’suwet’en from their own territory, for the economic benefit of fracked natural gas Coastal GasLink’s 670km pipeline is consistent with the colonial practices of genocide. These unlawful occupations and tactics violate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Wet’suwet’en Clan Chiefs hold sole title to their unceded territory and unanimously do not support the construction of the pipeline. The pipeline project would mar the landscape, cutting down trees, harming migration patterns of animals, and putting the entire watershed at risk of a pipeline leak and contamination. Furthermore, the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people found that there is a direct connection between resource extraction projects and increased violence against and within Indigenous communities. The migration of settler labourers to pipeline projects sites has been connected to increased sexual harassment, murder, rape, sexual assault, the influx of drugs and alcohol, increased conflict and policing, and the undermining of Indigenous self-determination in their communities.
We are deeply concerned about the militarized arrests, pressure and trespassing presence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territory. We are alarmed by the RCMP’s establishment of an “Exclusion Zone”- which infringes on freedom of movement of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, with the exclusion of media from witnessing and documentation, and bars clan members from accessing their own lands. These acts of intimidation, occupation, and restriction are harmful and reverses us back to the pass system era, which treats Indigenous peoples like prisoners on their own territory.
The RCMP does not hold the jurisdiction or right to arrest sovereign Wet’suwet’en peoples on their own unceded Nation and territory. The practice of forced relocation, arrest, detention, and criminalization of Wet’suwet’en, Indigenous peoples, and their allies on Wet’suwet’en land is an egregious and shameful violation of international law. We call upon the RCMP and Canadian government to respectfully honour Wet’suwet’en Clan law, whereby ceasing their surveillance, occupation, and militarized violence on Indigenous land.
The continual prioritizing of the interests of private sector and resource extraction over the rights of Indigenous Nations, laws, treaties, lands, and waters, condemns our collective wellbeing and future. We call upon the RCMP and government of Canada to immediately halt all violations and assaults on Indigenous water and land defenders. We stand with the Wet’suwet’en and their allies who have made significant sacrifices on the front lines of this violation on their territory. We honour and respect their commitment to defending the wellbeing of the waters, lands, creatures, people, and sovereignty of Wet’suwet’en.
The Reverend Evan Smith, Sandra Campbell, and The Reverend Leigh Kern Toronto Urban Native Ministry
The Most Reverend Mark MacDonald National Anglican Indigenous Archbishop
Bishop Susan Johnson National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Right Reverend Ron Culter Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
The Right Reverend Andrew Asbil The Bishop of Toronto
The Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Rupertsland
The Right Reverend Riscylla Shaw Bishop Suffragan of Toronto
The Right Reverend Peter Fenty Bishop Suffragan of Toronto
The Right Reverend Jenny Andison Bishop Suffragan of Toronto
The Right Reverend Kevin Robertson Bishop Suffragan of Toronto
Aaron Sault, Suitaakii Black, and The Right Reverend Sydney Black The Vision Keepers Council
The Reverend Canon Ginny Doctor, Mohawk Turtle Clan Coordinator of Indigenous Ministry, The Anglican Church of Canada
Jennifer Henry Executive Director, KAIROS
Melanie Delva National Reconciliation Animator, The Anglican Church of Canada
Yolanda Bird Suicide Prevention, Alberta and Saskatchewan
Carragh Erhardt Justice Ministries, The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Judith Moses Deputy Prolocutor, The Anglican Church of Canada
The Reverend Dr. Karen L. Egan Prolocutor, The Anglican Church of Canada
Peter Haresnape General Secretary, Student Christian Movement of Canada
The Reverend Dr. Jennifer Eileen Sculley Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, The Anglican Church of Canada
The Reverend Jasmine Hanakaulani Bostock St. Peter’s, Honolulu
The Reverend Pamela Rayment St. Clement’s Church
Laura Walton Prolocutor for the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario
The Reverend Dr. Joanne Mercer Anglican Parish of Twillingate, Anglican Diocese of Central Newfoundland
The Reverend Valerie Kerr, Mohawk, Wolf Clan Archdeacon
Elin Goulden Social Justice and Advocacy Coordinator, The Anglican Diocese of Toronto
The Reverend Maggie Helwig Social Justice and Advocacy Committee, The Anglican Diocese of Toronto
The Reverend Canon George M. Porter Gathering Table, Thunder Bay
The Reverend Andrea Budgey University of Toronto Chaplain
The Reverend Tay Moss Church of the Messiah
The Reverend Samantha Caravan All Saints’ Peterborough
The Reverend Dana Dickson Trinity Anglican Church, Bradford
The Reverend Dr. Jason McKinney Epiphany & St Mark, Parkdale
The Reverend Canon Brad Smith St John the Evangelist, Peterborough
The Reverend Mark Regis Church of St. Mary and St. Martha
The Reverend Don Beyers Christ Church Bolton, York-Credit Valley Social Justice Officer
The Reverend Janaki Bandara St Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cambridge
The Reverend Dawn Leger St. John’s West Toronto
The Reverend Stephen Kern and Dr. Anne Kern St. Philips-on-the-Hill, Unionville
The Reverend Dr. Alison Kemper The Reverend Canon Joyce Barnett St. Matthias Bellwoods
The Reverend Megan Jull St. Augustine of Canterbury
The Reverend Sherman Hesslegrave and Zachary Grant Church of the Holy Trinity
The Reverend Alexa Gilmour UCC, Toronto
The Reverend Sandra Fyfe Anglican Parish of Horton, Wolfville
Lisa Alexander Lawyer/Mediator, Victoria
Andrew Stephens-Rennie Vancouver, BC
Canon David Robinson Winnipeg
The Reverend Dr. Heather McCance
Caitlin Reilley Beck
The Reverend David J. Burrows
Kathy Wellunscheg Klassen
Belinda J. Kishimoto
The Reverend Elizabeth Boehm-Wilson UCC minister, Kingston
The Reverend Anne Hoganson
The Reverend Justin Philip Cheng
The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes
Professor Alan L. Hayes
The Reverend Susanne McKim Trinity-St. Paul, Port Credit
The Reverend Canon Nicola Skinner Grace Church, Markham
The Reverend Erin Martin St James the Apostle, Sharon
The Reverend Susan Spicer St. George, Ajax
The Reverend Dr. Leigh Silcox St. Matthias, Etobicoke