Gidimt’en land defenders call on Spanish bank to divest from Canadian pipeline

Published by Brent Patterson on

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“If you choose to invest your money in a project that is committing genocide on Indigenous people and lands, you will lose.” – Hereditary Chief Sleydo’

On October 19, the Gidimt’en Checkpoint from the Wet’suwet’en Nation issued this letter to more than 35 banks and investors calling on them to divest from the building of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

Among the banks financing the pipeline is the Barcelona, Spain-based bank CaixaBank.

CaixaBank has provided CAD $240 million for the pipeline, part of a CAD $6.4 billion term loan to Coastal GasLink.

The letter notes that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the Canadian government “to immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

The letter also highlights: “On February 6, 2020, militarized police conducted a five-day military raid on the resistance camps on Cas Yikh and Unist’ot’en land and illegally evicted us and our matriarchs and land defenders. The police used assault rifles, snipers, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters on Indigenous elders and youth. The militarized police presence on our territory continues to this day.”

The letter from Cas Yikh (Grizzly Bear House) Dinï ze’ and Tsakë ze’ (Chiefs) states: “This letter serves as your formal notice that the Coastal GasLink project lacks our necessary consent. Should you choose to invest or continue to maintain your investment in this project, you do so against the law and our express demands, and you are complicit in illegally interfering with our rightful exercise of authority and jurisdiction.”

The full letter can be read here.

Canadian police arrest Wet’suwet’en land defenders opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, February 10, 2020. Photo by Amber Bracken/ The Narwhal.

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