Filed under: Announcement, British Columbia, Indigenous, Land
Construction has begun for a new resistance camp on Wet’suwet’en territory in so-called British Columbia.
We are pleased to announce that work has begun on a new resistance camp on Wet’suwet’en territory. Members of the Likhts’amisyu clan are currently re-occupying their traditional territory, near the logging town of Houston in Northern B.C.
For almost ten years, the Wet’suwet’en have been resisting an array of oil and gas pipelines with the purpose of transporting diluted bitumen and fracked gas to the Northwest Coast for export. The focal point of these efforts have been the Unist’ot’en Camp, a long-standing territorial re-occupation which was built directly in the path of the proposed pipeline corridor. Years of resistance have caused multiple multi-billion-dollar projects to be delayed and/or cancelled. Things came to a head this winter, when the Coastal GasLink pipeline corporation obtained an injunction. On January 7th, 2019, the RCMP raided the Gidim’ten Access Checkpoint, which had been established on the road leading to the Unist’ot’en Camp. Several days later, CGL and the RCMP breached the gate at the Unist’ot’en Camp.
It is important that people realize that this fight is far from over. The events of December and January should be regarded as one phase in a struggle that has been going on for a decade. A new phase of struggle has begun, and the efforts on the Likhts’amisyu clan to establish a village on their territory represents a continuation and an expansion of Wet’suwet’en resistance. Part of the strategy is to stymie CGL by blocking them at multiple points. Whereas at the beginning of December, there was one resistance camp on Wet’suwet’en territory, there are now three. We encourage all committed land defenders to plan to participate in the struggle on Wet’suwet’en territory this Spring and Summer.
The Sovereign Likhts’amisyu Camp benefit from the leadership of two experienced chiefs, Smolgelgem and Dsahayl. Smolgelgem (also known as Toghestiy and Warner Naziel) co-founded the Unist’ot’en Camp and has been a driving force in the Wet’suwet’en resistance, and in the indigenous sovereignty movement of Turtle Island. Dsahayl, also a Likhts’amisyu chief, has decades of experience fighting for Wet’suwet’en rights, particularly in regards to fishing and conservation. The two of them are organizing with the full support of their clan behind them.
The new Likhts’amisyu Camp will be strategically located in order to impede the ability of the Coastal GasLink corporation to force their pipeline through Wet’suwet’en land. The chiefs state: “We will be building permanent buildings on our territory in an effort to assert our precolonial rights and jurisdiction on our lands. We will be asking for help from volunteers to assist in fundraising, building a cabin, a kitchen dining and a bunk house, and also the associated outbuildings.”
We are also very much keen to recruit more helpers! Although the dates of the Likhts’amisyu Spring Construction camp were scheduled for the dates of April 28th to May 18th, the reality is that we will be requiring assistance throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. We are planning to build a log cabin, a kitchen / mess hall, a wood shed, and a root cellar. Please consider making a trip out to Wet’suwet’en territory in the coming months to help with this grassroots, indigenous-led effort to defend Mother Earth from the threat of industrial devastation posed by the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
This is a great opportunity to learn new skills off of skilled trades people. We hope to start a large garden on the site for growing food. First Aid skills and Cooking skills are also essential personnel to have at our camp.” We are also requesting help in other areas as well, such as fund-raising. If you would like to offer assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Lastly, we also require support in other although we have been somewhat successful in our fund-raising efforts, we are still a long way away from our goal. We have priced out over $40 000 worth of construction materials, without including a budget for food or transportation costs. To date, we have raised only about $8000. Thankfully, this is enough for us to get started, however, it means that we must continue to fund-raise as we go.
Here are some useful links:
1. The Go Fund Me page is at: https://www.gofundme.com/likhtsamisyu2019
2. The promotional video is at: https://vimeo.com/332477793
3. The Likhtsamisyu website is at: www.likhtsamisyu.com
4. The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/likhtsamisyu/
5. The main email for people to reach the chiefs is:[email protected]
6. The main email for people to reach the support team is: [email protected]
7. To subscribe to the Likhts’amisyu listserv, please write [email protected] introducing yourself and saying why and how you would like to support current organizing efforts.
We also ask that people share the above links and help boost the profile of this camp. Thank you very much!