Pacific Peoples Partnership (PPP) stands in solidarity with the people and the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and supports the right to Indigenous self-determination and governance on Wet’suwet’en ancestral territories. For over forty years, PPP has supported the self-determination of South Pacific Islanders and Indigenous peoples in their struggles for peace, environmental sustainability, social justice and community development.
The United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. Although Canada initially voted against the Declaration, it reversed its position and removed its permanent objector status in 2016. On November 26, 2019, the province of BC unanimously passed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIPA). UNDRIPA states, along with several other articulated rights, that Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands.
We call on the federal and provincial governments of Canada to implement UNDRIP on the unceded lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation. The actions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the provincial government are not reflective of their stated commitment to the UNDRIPA and we call for the RCMP and Coastal GasLink to leave Wet’suwet’en lands immediately so that free, prior and informed consent can take place. In solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation, PPP calls for the provincial and federal governments to:
- Respect Indigenous land title and engage in true Nation-to-Nation relationships with Indigenous Peoples, which entails meeting with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership;
- Cease construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project immediately and suspend all permits in accordance with the self-determining authority of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership;
- Implement UNDRIP and recognize the Wet’suwet’en right to self-determination, including the right to free, prior and informed consent;
- Withdraw the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en lands, in compliance with the December 2019 calls to action of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD);
- Respect Wet’suwet’en laws and governance systems and prohibit the use of any force to access their lands or their people.
We urge the Province of B.C. to change their current course of action and to respect UNDRIP and Wet’suwet’en laws in order to promote free, prior and informed consent on Indigenous lands and waters. Additionally, we recognize the complex political, social, and cultural contexts in which Wet’suwet’en peoples are navigating and strive to be sensitive to these complexities. In doing so, we commit to upholding and prioritizing Indigenous peoples’ self-determining authority, nationhood, laws, and commitments to promoting a healthy, just and sustainable future.