Nature is being destroyed all over the world. It’s time that it is stopped. Native lands, for instance, are experiencing a destruction of wildlife for the sake of government agendas.
For the Wet’suwet’ en, an indigenous people of British Columbia, the moment to preserve their land is now, and since they never ceded their land to Canada, they may be able to make this happen.
The Wet’suwet’en, 140 indigenous people, never ceded their lands to Canada, and this means laws and regulations, which work for other areas, do not apply.
Unist’tot’en camp lead, Freda said,
“No province or no federal government has a say on what happens to these lands, and still they issue permits and think they are valid. Our law supersedes any law outside our territory. They can bring any paper here they way, but it’s good as Firestarter to me.”
Despite these strong words, the government wishes to build a gas pipeline through the indigenous territory. The Wet’suwet’en are prepared to prevent this from happening, even if they have to resort to war.
Why are pipelines an issue?
The Wet’suwet’en believe the gas and oil pipeline would do extensive damage to the land, wildlife and vegetation. The indigenous people survive off the land- hunting and collecting natural offerings such as berries and plants-so this could prove to be devastating. There are a number of things that could be adversely affected by an oil spill or leak-terrestrial birds, freshwater fish, sediment quality, marine birds, rare plants, the grizzly bear, caribou and also soils and wetlands. These are to name a few. Without these offerings of the earth, the life of the Wet’suwet’en would be drastically changed.
According to a study at the Polaris Institute, there were 804 spills between 1999 and 2010 or 165,475 gallons of spilled oil, the culprit is Enbridge and Pacific Trails, which desire to build the Northern Gateway pipeline through the territory.
Recently the Wet’suwet’en have prepared a checkpoint at Unist’ot’en camp, which screens anyone who wishes to enter the native lands. Those who are refused include: Canadian police, pipeline crews or oil company developers, such as Enbridge.
In order to enter the lands, a set of questions must be answered. The Wet’suwet’en must know who you are, where you’re from and how long you plan to stay. They also wish to know if visitors work for the government or companies which want to hurt the land.
Allies are welcome to join in the fight to keep the Wet’suwet’en lands in its natural state. The destructive pathway of pipeline must be stopped. It’s also a statement in support to regions affected by fuel terminals, refineries and port expansion.
The Unist’tot’en camp is located on the shore of the Wedzin Kwah and mouth of the Gosnell creek. These locations are connections of the Skeena, Babine and Bulkley Rivers. Enbridge Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails wishes to cross the rivers at the site of the camp. The opposition is growing strong in hopes of eliminating all efforts to taint the indigenous territories with government pipeline pollution. With strong allies and stable checkpoints, the Wet’suwet’en may well be able to start a revolution that could save lands and resources, even influencing other indigenous people in Canada and the world over.
By Sherrie H.