CMOS Bulletin Solidarity Statement with Wet’suwet’en land defenders
The CMOS Bulletin stands in solidarity with members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation as they peacefully defend their unceded territories in the face of militarized police action, raids and arrests by armed RCMP officers. As a science communications platform that exists for the advancement of climatology, meteorology and oceanography in a time of climate emergency, the Bulletin understands our specific responsibility to support Indigenous peoples’ efforts to protect their lands, waters and peoples against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.
The Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership has held continuous and full jurisdiction over the nation’s 22,000 square kilometres of unceded territory for time immemorial. In the 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa court case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Wet’suwet’en people—as represented by their hereditary leaders—have never given up rights and title to their lands. What’s more, both Canada and British Columbia have moved to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples which includes provisions recognizing the right to self-determination, the need to obtain the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous nations when development is proposed in their territories, and expressly condemns the forced removal of Indigenous peoples from their lands and territories.
The recent raids and arrests by the RCMP on Wet’suwet’en land defenders as well as the ongoing efforts to construct the Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory are in direct violation of Wet’suwet’en law, Canadian law, B.C. law and internationally recognized rights for Indigenous peoples.
We urge the federal and provincial governments to adhere to the demands of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, as stated here:
- That the province of B.C. cease construction of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline project and suspend permits.
- That the UNDRIP and Wet’suwet’en right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is respected by the state and RCMP.
- That the RCMP and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimiation’s (CERD) request.
- That the provincial and federal government, RCMP and private industry employed by CGL respect Wet’suwet’en laws and our governance system and refrain from using any force to access Wet’suwet’en lands or remove Wet’suwet’en people.