Labour statements in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

January 11

BCGEU Statement on RCMP raid at Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en Access Point – BCGEU

BURNABY – The BCGEU has been closely monitoring the developing situation at the Unist’ot’en camp. As a trade union committed to supporting the full implementation of the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the recommendations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are concerned that police action has been used to suppress the rights of both peaceful protesters and the media.

We urge the RCMP, Coastal Gaslink and the provincial government to work with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership and the elected council to resolve the current dispute in the spirit of the principles articulated in those documents.

The Wet’suwet’en people have inherent Indigenous rights and title that must be recognized and respected. What happens at the Unist’ot’en camp could have lasting repercussions for generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous British Columbians.

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with over 77,000 members across the province working in every sector of the economy.

For more information contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, 604-719-4713

CUPE Ontario Members Stand in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

CUPE Ontario members stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and activists at the Unist’ot’en Camp defending their territory and the environment against big oil and right-wing politicians.

Last month, TransCanada Coastal GasLink sought an injunction directing hereditary chiefs to remove the gate at Unist’ot’en Camp, allowing its agents to build a pipeline through their traditional territories.

On Monday, 14 people were arrested in a heroic act of civil disobedience to block that pipeline and defend our planet. These arrests severely undermine British Columbia’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and Canada’s commitment to honour the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

CUPE Ontario members stand with the Wet’suwet’em hereditary chiefs and the Unist’ot’en/Giltseyu-Dark House in demanding that provincial and federal governments revoke the permits for this project until the standards of free, prior, and informed consent are met.

Despite claims of a new chapter in crown-Indigenous relations, it’s clear from this episode that we still have a long way to go before achieving true reconciliation. Closer to home, the Doug Ford Conservatives’ opposition to the carbon tax, dismantling of the cap-and-trade system, recent firing of employees at the Indigenous Culture Fund, and the merger of the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation into Energy, Northern Development and Mines, all speak to the danger right-wing politicians pose to the environment and reconciliation efforts.

As long as the colonialism and greed of big oil companies and right-wing ideologues are shielded by unjust laws, we have a moral responsibility to disobey them. To that end, on behalf of the CUPE Ontario Abroginal Council, we have contributed to the Unis’ot’en Camp legal fund and encourage CUPE Locals to do the same. We also encourage members to participate in solidarity rallies such as those that have taken place in Guelph, Peterborough, Toronto, and Ottawa over the past few days.

CUPE Ontario Members Stand in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation