Filed under: Canadian Tire Fire, Featured
cover photo: Mike Grameme
This week, Wet’suwet’en people and their allies continued to put up a strong resistance to Coastal GasLink’s efforts to drill under the Wedzin Kwa and build a pipeline across their territory.
At Coyote Camp, Gidimt’en clan members were notably joined by Haudenosaunee people who traveled to the territory in solidarity.
1/ “You can’t push the Wet’suwet’en around!” and “This is Chief Woos’ territory!” can be heard as our #Haudenosaunee relatives send the RCMP retreating from their daily harassment patrol at Coyote Camp. #AllOutforWedzinKwa#WeAreAllOne pic.twitter.com/QOJNCls7eT
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) October 12, 2021
On Likhts’amisyu territory, CGL machinery was seized and decommissioned by Chief Dtsa H’yl, acting as Likhts’amisyu enforcement officer. Chief Dtsa H’yl had previously warned workers that they were trespassing on the territory and would need to leave or risk having their equipment seized. Eventually, the Likhts’amisyu Clan Government took possession of the equipment.
The Likhts’amisyu Clan has seized CGL equipment on the Yintah. pic.twitter.com/k8zbGnw3E8
— Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed) Clan (@Likhtsamisyu) October 18, 2021
In response to the call for solidarity actions this week, actions took place across so-called Canada and beyond.
In Vancouver, on October 14, people came together for a day-long solidarity action that included a march and occupation at the entrance of TC Energy, the parent company of Coastal GasLink.
Actions continue in solidarity with the #Wetsuweten struggle against Coastal Gaslink and the #RCMP occupation of Indigenous territories. In #Vancouver, people blockaded the port for several hours. #wetsuwetenstrong #landback https://t.co/oFe78Ggszr
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) October 20, 2021
Then, on October 15, the entrance to the Port of Vancouver was blocked. The port was held for five hours before being quickly dismantled just as police moved in to enforce an injunction that has previously been obtained for similar actions.
Photo via: mikegraeme
In Winnipeg, people rallied in front of an RCMP office.
#wetsuweten solidarity action happening now at the RCMP in #winnipeg. Powerful words shared by land defenders and community leaders, sending messages of outrage, love, and gratitude to the @Gidimten #AllOutForWedzinKwa #RCMPOfftheYintah pic.twitter.com/nzmrAWLUUk
— Laura Cameron (@laurapcameron) October 13, 2021
In Toronto, a banner was dropped over rush hour traffic.
On the last day of the Week of Action in support of the Gidimt'en, a banner was dropped in the busy west end of downtown Toronto to draw the attention of rush hour drivers toward the invasion of Wet'suwet'en land being perpetrated by our government. RCMP GET OUT!#RCMPofftheYintah pic.twitter.com/iBPI5iPnxS
— Rising Tide Toronto (@RisingTideTor) October 15, 2021
In Mi’kma’ki territory, a banner was dropped over the NS-101 highway.
In Kingston, community members rallied and marched.
In Smithers, Wet’suwet’en people and their allies rallied and took the streets.
This is what real Nation to Nation looks like, Haudenosaunee and Wet'suwet'en family standing together against the colonial violence and corporate greed that threatens the safety and well-being of future generations. pic.twitter.com/Pzbn6Z83us
— Skyler Williams (@landbackskyler) October 15, 2021
At Claremont McKenna College in California, a large group rallied to apply pressure on the owners of KKR, one of the major investors in the pipeline project. Two of KKR’s owners are trustees for the college, and students called on them to discontinue their support for the project. As pipleline projects like Coastal GasLink continue to face opposition and become less and less popular, the financial support of companies like KKR is crucial to their success. Props to folks in folks in so-called California for seeing the connections and acting in solidarity.
#AllOutForWedzinKwa direct action in militant solidarity with @Gidimten. WE WILL BE BACK. WE WILL ESCALATE OUR TACTICS IF CGL/RCMP ESCALATE VIOLENCE ON SOVEREIGN WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY AND @KKR_Co DOES NOTHING. #KKRKILLS #KKRDivestCGL #ShutDownKKR #WetsuwetenStrong pic.twitter.com/a9UqNXeiGl
— KKR Kills #AllOutforWedzinKwa (@KKRkills) October 16, 2021
Tiny House Warriors Land Defender Sentenced in Court
Indigenous Warriors #TinyHouseWarriors confront PM Justin Trudeau in Kamloops, Secwepemc Territory yesterday. Indigenous land conflict escalating over Unceded #Secwepemc Lands and the government-owned #TransMountain pipeline. #stoptmx #cndpoli pic.twitter.com/EGYX5Pmvmp
— Kanahus Manuel (@KanahusFreedom) October 19, 2021
This week, Mayuk and Kanahaus Manuel, members of the Tiny House Warriors movement, were back in court for sentencing related to their activities defending Secwepmc territory from the Trans Mountain pipeline. The charges stemmed from activities that took place in 2019. Kanahaus Manuel was was give a conditional discharge and sentenced to one year of probation with conditions for the “theft” of a padlock on pipeline construction equipment. The conditions ban her from going near a pump station along the pipeline construction route in Blue River. The sentencing of Mayuk Manuel, who was convicted of intimidation of Trans Mountain security, is yet to come.
Iqaluit Facing Drinking Water Crisis
A state of emergency has been declared in Iqaluit after city staff found evidence of fuel contamination in the city's treated water supply. The water is unsafe to drink, even if filtered or boiled, according to the municipality. https://t.co/VhX83t5v4Z
— CBC Indigenous (@CBCIndigenous) October 13, 2021
On October 14, the City of Iqaluit declared a 14-day state of emergency and instructed residents not to drink tap water after the city’s drinking water supply was found to be contaminated with “exceedingly high concentrations of various fuel components.”
Stores quickly ran out of clean water and water jugs. Many community members turned to the nearby Sylvia Grinnell River for their water supply, while those unable to haul water have relied on community support and water deliveries. The Territory of Nunavut has since flown in over 20,000 gallons of water, and the City is providing water from dispensing stations.
While the source of the contamination is not yet confirmed, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer has hypothesized that it may be related to an old oil spill released with thawing permafrost. The crisis has highlighted the significance of clean waterways, and the risks of climate change-induced permafrost thaw.
Though on a larger scale, the situation in the 8,000-person, majority Inuit city reflects the ongoing reality of many smaller Indigenous communities. Across so-called Canada, 44 long-term boil water advisories are in effect in 32 communities.
Trudeau Pulls Out Another Apology
Special mention this week to Justin Trudeau who headed to Kamloops to meet with Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc people. The meeting took place on the territory where the remains of 215 children were confirmed this summer near the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Trudeau was three weeks’ late for his invitation to join the community for Truth and Reconciliation Day, when he passed over the Chiefs’ invitation and opted instead for a family surf vacation in Tofino.\
Perhaps as some kind of penance, the meeting was noted to have taken place on his son’s birthday. Trudeau was full of apologies for the snub, but faced difficult questions regarding his ongoing legal battle against financial compensation for residential school survivors.