Saturday, 26 January 2013

No pipelines on Wet'suwet'en land -- Toghestiy (Warner Naziel)

On 20 Nov 2012 the Unist'ot'en evicted Apache pipeline surveyors who were found entering Unis’tot’en territory, and recently had to evict them again. (* see historical note)

Toghestiy, hereditary chief of the Likhts'amisyu clan of the Wet'suwet'en invoked biKyi'waat'en, the right of the husband, warning them never to return without the pipeline company respecting Free Prior and Informed Consent protocol under UNDRIP and international law. He gave an eagle feather to the crew. In Wet'suwet'en law, an eagle feather indicates a first and only warning of trespass (reported in 4 Dec 2012).

Hear his wife Freda Huson's family story explaining traditional native life on the land, and reasons for the action. "We will allow no pipelines on their territory; it is a heritage from our ancestors, to be passed on to our children's children."

The Unist'ot'en Camp is a resistance community whose purpose is to protect unceded sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory (no treaty has ever been signed) from pipelines whose emissions will wreck the planet -- coming from the Tar Sands and from shale gas fracking in the Peace River Region. They point out that natural gas from fracking is 80% more carbon-intensive than conventional natural gas. The Pacific gas line owners were Apache Corporation 40%,  EOG Resources [formerly Enron] 30%, and EnCana 30%. (Toghestiy writes that Encana and EOG have both sold all of their shares to
Chevron after our successful Day of Action on November 27th
.] The tarsands pipelines from Northern Gateway, Kitimat Summit Lake Looping Project, and the Pembina and Kinder Morgan Pipelines plan to cross the headwaters at the exact point where the resistance camp is built. See this set of pipeline maps, and the Ottawa's plan for termination of native rights.)

Their opponents with billions of dollars at stake, and more billions in profits expected, are supported by fossil lobbies, banks, governments, police forces, military and spy drones -- all making determined attempts to threaten, divide and rule the natives. But the Unist'ot'en have country-wide backing from other natives in the non-violent Idle No More movement, churches, human rights organizations and environmentalists.

BC gas pipelines: 
Apache-EOG-Encana (yellow), Pacific Trails (red), Spectra (blue)
The camp, in Unis’tot’en Territory of Talbits Kwah, has attracted Native resisters for the last three years. It is at the sacred headwaters of the Skeena, Bulkley, and Babine Rivers - on the shore of the Wedzin Kwah [Summit Lake]. Read the Unist'ot'en Camp blog for more details.
*Historical note: the Unist'ot'en eviction of surveyors echoes the beginning of the métis resistance of 1870, misnamed the "first Riel rebellion". Modern historians point out that the métis were fully justified under international law, with Prime Minister Macdonald (much against his will) forced to negotiate land claims, provincial rather than colonial status, and a Bill of Rights. In later years, many of these hard-won rights were swept away by racist Ontario settlers and corrupt politicians, provoking a second, bloody and futile rebellion. Can we behave better 150 years later?

No comments: