The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) strongly supports the sovereign Wet’suwet’en nation in demanding an end to Canada’s militarized occupation of their lands and a complete halt to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, as outlined in their recent submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have unilaterally opposed the Coastal Gaslink pipeline and have not consented to its construction. By licensing and building the pipeline anyway, the Canadian government is violently disregarding Wet’suwet’en sovereignty. Wet’suwet’en land defenders and allies are condemning both the environmentally disastrous consequences of this pipeline project and the illegal invasion of their sovereign, unceded territory; in response, Canada has arrested, jailed, evicted, and surveilled Wet’suwet’en land defenders. It is impossible to separate the ecological harm from the anti-Indigenous violence caused by the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, because they are intertwined impacts of settler-colonial resource extraction.
Now is a critical moment for the international community to rally together in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation. The NLG joins many other organizations in demanding that Canada be held to the standards outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by recognizing the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en nation and their right to govern their own land. However, the NLG also recognizes that liberation of Indigenous peoples globally will require that we both meet and exceed UNDRIP. To work toward justice beyond what the law currently has to offer, the NLG asks that members and allies look to mutual aid efforts to provide more comprehensive, restorative support to the Wet’suwet’en people and in their struggles to protect the planet and their sovereignty.
For more context and legal analysis, read the NLG International Committee’s 2020 Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People.
Wet’suwet’en-led calls for support:
- Help land defenders demand that banks withdraw financial support from the Coastal Gaslink Project
- Sign onto a statement of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation
- Share the Gitxsan Land Defenders’ Legal Fund
- Join and support Wet’suwet’en land defenders at the Gidimt’en Camp
Additional resources for learning more:
For any inquiries related to this statement or the NLG, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.