In January 2020, Pivot staff wrote to our colleagues in the legal community highlighting fundraisers for the Unist’ot’en Legal Fund. As a legal community, with specialized knowledge and training in colonial law, we have a moral imperative to actively support the Wet’suwet’en Nation as they assert jurisdiction under their laws to control access to their territory. Nearly two years later, we are updating and recirculating this important call.
Image: Banner at Commercial and Hastings in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en Nation.
December 11th 2021 marked the 24th anniversary of Delgamuukw-Gisday'wa v. British Columbia, which affirmed the jurisdiction of Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations’ hereditary leadership over their traditional territory. All 5 clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have clearly opposed the Coastal Gaslink/TC Energy pipeline, and all pipelines, in their territory through law made in their balhats (feast hall). Energy extraction projects have not received free, prior, and informed consent to do work on Wet’suwet’en lands.
In light of the ongoing resistance of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Land Defenders, alongside their Gitxsan relatives in the news in recent weeks, we join the call for all occupying forces to remove themselves from Wet’suwet’en territory. Gidimt’en Checkpoint has released a call to action for the week of December 20th, you can find more information in their week of action toolkit.
Legal Defense Funds
Today we are re-circulating our call for donations due to the recent raids and arrests of Indigenous land defenders at the unarmed Gidimt’en checkpoint with updated information on current fundraisers to address the legal costs of the individuals going to court.
To date, more than $400K has been spent on the injunction proceedings and a related Judicial Review. Funds are needed for upcoming legal costs to see the Judicial Review to completion and advance other legal challenges.
Gidimt’en Legal Defense Fund, following brutal and militarized raids on sovereign Gidimt’en Territory in early November 2021.
Gitxsan Land Defenders’ Legal Fund, for members of the Gitxsan Nation who were arrested during a February 2020 railway blockade in defense of Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en resistance to the CGL pipeline.
We hope that you will continue to support the work of these land defenders, and centre the importance of 'Anuc niwh'it'en (Wet'suwet'en law) and Indigenous legal orders in the territory colonially-known as “Canada.”
Image: Map of Wet’suwet’en Territory from www.wetsuweten.com/territory
If you’re looking for additional information on what is happening on the Wet’suwet’en people’s lands we recommend the following resources:
Wet’suwet’en 101 Backgrounder
Gidimt’en Yintah Access website
Video of RCMP Raid Coyote Camp
Gidimt’en Yintah Access YouTube, November 2021
Real climate action means defunding the police
Briarpatch article, November 2021
‘We are not here to get killed’: Wet’suwet’en solidarity actions met with armed police response
The Narwhal article, November 2021