Gidimt’en land defenders make submission to UN Human Rights Council; request field visit to Wet’suwet’en territory

Published by Brent Patterson on

This media release highlights that “Gidimt’en land defenders made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People on the ‘Militarization of Wet’suwet’en Lands and Canada’s Ongoing Violations.’”

Their submission “details how forced industrialization by Coastal GasLink and police militarization on Wet’suwet’en land is a violation of Canada’s international obligations as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).”

The submission states: “Ongoing human rights violations, militarization of Wet’suwet’en lands, forcible removal and criminalization of peaceful land defenders, and irreparable harm due to industrial destruction of Wet’suwet’en lands and cultural sites are occurring despite declarations by federal and provincial governments for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”

Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo’ says: “We urge the United Nations to conduct a field visit to Wet’suwet’en territory because Canada and BC [British Columbia] have not withdrawn RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] from our territory and have not suspended Coastal GasLink’s permits, despite the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calling on them to do so.”

She adds: “Wet’suwet’en is an international frontline to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples and to prevent climate change. Yet we are intimidated and surveilled by armed RCMP, smeared as terrorists, and dragged through colonial courts. This is the reality of Canada.”

This request comes a week before more than thirty water protectors will appear in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Prince George on February 14 following the RCMP raid on their territory in November 2021.

The media statement can be read in full here. The full text of the 7-page submission to the UN Human Rights Council can be read here.

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