February 11, 2020, Port Alberni, BC, Nuu-chah-nulth Territories
The Nuu-Chah-Nulth have been watching with dismay as the RCMP enter onto Wet’suwet’en
lands and arrest and forcibly remove heads of their government, matriarchs and community
members who are peacefully defending their lands, which is within their laws. We have seen
the RCMP use an unprecedented amount of force and —- while enforcing an injunction
including destroying sacred fires and practices that were happening.
Why send in the troops to dismantle various camps when the RCMP could have sat down and
talked with Chiefs, respected them and found a way to achieve ways to do their job and work
with indigenous peoples in a good way?
For years, we have been trying to build and strengthen our relations with the RCMP and to see
them in this role erodes our trust in how we can work together in the future. Where is the
cultural sensitivity? Where is the respect? Watching the arrest of the many, the destruction of
sacred fires and the demand to have the Chiefs not be on their own lands has caused outrage
with our youth, elders and Chiefs.
Having the Charter of Rights Freedom of the Press curtailed is also unacceptable. The press
must be able to observe and report on what is really happening.
Indigenous peoples across the country are saying that reconciliation is dead. The RCMP, the
Government of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada, have been pushing the
reconciliation agenda and stating that they want to reconcile for past wrongs but where is the
Prime Minister? Where is the Premier? How are they fighting for reconciliation? For UNDRIP?
Instead, indigenous peoples continue to be forcibly removed from their territories, and jobs and
revenue continue to take precedence over First Nations consent over their territories. The
government is fueled by corporations and not reconciliation.
We stand with the Wet’suwet’en in protecting their lands, waters and resources from
development of gas pipelines.
We stand with the supporters of the defenders of the land across this country especially our
From Unistoten/Wet’suwet’en to Elispogtog, from Enbridge to Lelu island, from Muskrat Falls
to Site C, TMX to Line 3, Oka to Gustafson Lake, First Nations people have had to stand up and
fight back for their lands and sacred places. We are in a time of climate crisis and working hard
for our collective livable future and these developments works against that. These conflicts will
never end without free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, their self –
determination and respect for the environment.