Unceded Wet’suwet’en Yintah (Territory)
Tuesday November 27, 2012
To the illegitimate colonial governments of Canada and British Columbia, and to all parties involved in the proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP) project: Apache corporation, EOG Resources, Encana corporation and all of their affiliated investors, including the Royal Bank of Canada, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., and many others. This letter is to issue a warning of trespass to those companies associated with the PTP industrial extraction project and against any affiliates and contractors infringing upon traditional Wet’suwet’en territory.
Wet’suwet’en territory, which extends from Burns Lake to the Coastal Mountains, is sovereign and unceded territory which has never been ceded to the colonial Canadian state; the Wet’suwet’en are not under treaty with the Canadian government. Their territory, therefore, is and always will be free, and belongs to the Wet’suwet’en people alone. The grassroots Wet’suwet’en, especially the Unist’ot’en and Likhts’amisyu clans have repeatedly told PTP officials in meetings and face-to-face encounters that they will not tolerate any pipelines through their territories. On the evening of November 20th, 2012, this commitment was made good once again when hereditary chief Toghestiy intercepted Apache contracted surveyors on Unist’ot’en territory and issued them an eagle feather as a first and only notice of trespass. Let this warning be heard once again.
Under Wet’suwet’en law, the people of these lands have an inalienable right to their traditional territories, and the right to defend it. Even by Canadian law, the Supreme Court Dalgamuukw case decision explicitly recognizes the authority of hereditary chiefs, not elected Indian Act bands or councils. As such, any further unauthorized incursion into traditional Wet’suwet’en territory will be considered an act of colonialism, and an act of aggression towards our sovereignty. As financial investors and participants in the Pacific Trails Pipeline project, please consider yourselves equally responsible and accountable for any trespasses and violations carried out on Wet’suwet’en yintah (territory).
Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en clan spokesperson