Corporate colonialism is alive and well in British Columbia where corporations act first, and explain later. First Nations are starting to push back and demand that their land rights be respected. Indigenous respect for nature is given short shrift by corporations who view nature as a commodity to be exploited.
If you want to build a pipeline on Unis’tot’en territory, you better ask. The over 150 participants who went to the third annual action camp a few weeks ago, however, were not trying to build a pipeline; but rather were trying to build support and solidarity for communities who will be impacted.
BC approved the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP) this past April to be built through the territory on which the Unis’tot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation has been hunting and fishing since time immemorial. They have never ceded nor surrendered their territories through the Treaty process and thus assert that neither BC nor the government have the right to approve industrial projects happening on their land.
The Unis’tot’en explain on their website: “In ancient times and even today in canoe journeys, and community resistance building gatherings, there exists Protocols where people show who they are in relation to asking permission to enter the Traditional Lands from the Traditional Chiefs and Matriarchs.
Free Prior and Informed Consent is written into today’s United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Many sovereigntists take issue with the so called ‘rights’ as they are created by man and not by the Creator.”
This video put out by SubMedia TV shows interviews from members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation as well as organizers and participants of the camp.
The Pacific Trails Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline that would bring natural gas from northeastern BC to a Light Natural Gas terminal which is being built in Kitimat, BC. This would increase tanker traffic in the precarious (due to high winds, extreme weather conditions, and many small islands which leave little room for large tankers to maneuver) Douglas Channel, as well as expand BC’s dirty natural gas sector which is largely used to fuel the tar sands. To add fuel to the fire, part of the route of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline follows the path of the PTP. This means that if the PTP route is clear-cut and becomes accessible to industry, it is easier for companies like Enbridge and others looking to build tar sands pipelines to Kitimat. MORE