The Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs represent a governance system that predates colonization and the Indian Act which was created in an attempt to outlaw Indigenous peoples from their lands. The Wet'suwet'en have continued to exercise their unbroken, unextinguished, and unceded right to govern and occupy their lands by continuing and empowering the clan-based governance system to this day. Under Wet'suwet'en law, clans have a responsibility and right to control access to their territories.
The validity of the Wet'suwet'en house and clan system was verified in the Delgamuukw and Red Top Decisions that uphold the authority of the hereditary system on Wet'suwet'en traditional territories.
At this very moment a standoff is unfolding, the outcome of which will determine the future of Northern BC for generations to come. Will the entire region be overtaken by the fracking industry, or will Indigenous people asserting their sovereignty be successful in repelling the assault on their homelands?
The future is unwritten. What comes next will be greatly influenced by actions taken in the coming days and weeks. This is a long-term struggle, but it is at a critical moment. That is why we say: The Time is Now. If you are a person of conscience and you understand the magnitude of what is at stake, ask yourself how you might best support the grassroots Wet’suwet’en. For different people, this may mean different things. For some people, it means traveling to the front-lines. For others, awareness-raising efforts or cash/material contributions.
Under ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law) all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided free, prior, and informed consent to Coastal Gaslink/ TransCanada to do work on Wet’suwet’en lands.
Our responsibility is to protect our yintah for future generations.
GIDIMT’EN YINTAH ACCESS
The Gidimt'en is one of five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The creation of the Gitimd'en Camp was announced in the Wet’suwet’en feast hall, with the support of all chiefs present.
The Gidimt’en Yintah Access checkpoint is controlling access to Cas Yikh House territory within the larger Gidimt’en clan territory at 44.5 km on the Morice River FSR. The collective House Chiefs made the decision to support Gidimt’en Yintah Access December 14th, 2018. The five clans ratified the decision in a bahlats (feast) in Witset on December 16th, 2018.
On Friday, December 21st, a judge granted Coastal Gas Link an extension to their injunction against individuals at the Unist’ot’en Camp, applying it to all resistance camps South of Houston.
In response to CGL’s injunction, the Gidimt'en Yintah Access checkpoint was established on the road leading to the Unist’ot’en Camp. CGL’s lawyers have been arguing that the Unist’ot’en are essentially a rogue group without a rightful claim to aboriginal title. The Gidimt'en intervention shows that the Unist’ot’en are not alone, and that the hereditary chiefs are prepared to uphold Wet’suwet’en law by refusing to grant CGL consent to access the Yintahs.