‘Light your sacred fires’: Multiple rallies planned in support of Wet’suwet’en

Gidimt’en checkpoint 20 km down the road from the Unist’ot’en Camp. Photo: Simon Charland/APTN

The Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory and Unist’ot’en Camp have put forward an international call for solidarity in support of the fight to protect their land from the Coastal Gaslink project.

On its website and Facebook page they are calling for solidarity with the movement International Call to Solidarity: All Eyes on Wet’suwet’en.

The request comes near a year to the day that the RCMP raid the Gidimt’en access point and arrested 14 people.

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The raid of Wet’suwet’en blockades sparked outrage and international protests in support of the cause.

This year the Wet’suwet’en are calling for a week of solidarity from Jan 7-12 with 34 actions planned in Canada and the U.S., the bulk of which will take place Friday and Saturday.

The protests and marches are scheduled in Canadian cities across the country from Victoria to Halifax and in three U.S. cities, Rochester, San Francisco and Seattle.

The Unist’ot’en have asked that the actions of solidarity remain peaceful and according to Indigenous law and they are asking both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to “light your sacred fires and come to our aid.”

“We watched communities across Canada and worldwide rise up with us in January 2019 when the RCMP violently raided our territories and criminalized us for upholding our responsibilities towards our land,” said a statement on the the Unist’ot’en site.

“Our strength to act today comes from the knowledge that our allies across Canada and around the world will again rise up with us…”

The Unist’ot’en said the unceded Wet’suwet’en land is under attack and as the stewards it is their responsibility to protect it.

On Dec. 31, 2019 B.C. Supreme Court Justice marguerite Church granted an injunction against the Wet’suwet’en land defenders, a decision which the hereditary Chiefs of the five Wet’suwet’en clans have rejected. They have since issued an eviction notice to the Coastal GasLink Houston Camp.

That has raised concerns that a raid by the RCMP on the camp could happen as early as Friday.

Both the RCMP and CGL said they want to see a peaceful end to the impasse.

Reporter / Ottawa

Originally from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi on the eastern coast of James Bay, Quebec, Jamie has lived in Ottawa since 2015. Trained in journalism at Carleton University, he has worked as a freelance print journalist and as a writer/researcher for the Cree unit of CBC North out of Montreal. Jamie was hired as the reporter/correspondent for the Ottawa bureau in October 2019.