March 4, 2020. Vancouver -The AMS, along with seven other student societies across BC have sent a letter to Premier John Horgan calling for immediate removal of the RCMP presence on Wet’suwet’en land.
Dear Premier Horgan
Student organisations from across the province stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and their hereditary chiefs. We call on the provincial government to immediately halt the militarized invasion of Wet’suwet’en and the desecration of the Kweese trail.
The hereditary chiefs of all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have not given their consent for the Coastal GasLink LNG Project on their territory. Based on the precedent set by the Supreme Court on the Delgamuukw case, the Wet’suwet’en Nation has not ceded its land to the crown and thus holds the Title and Rights of its territories. The Wet’suwet’en peoples also have inherent rights and title through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – also recognized by the BC Government in November 2019.
The Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are conducting a peaceful protest on their own land. Removing them is a direct violation of UNDRIP Articles 8 and 10, which your government has committed to implement. The Government of Canada and the Province of BC is perpetuating a colonial legacy by not following through with actions that tangibly support its call for reconciliation and decolonization. We urge you to accept nothing less than free, prior, and informed consent before entering the sovereign lands of the Wet’suwet’en.
We support the permanent removal of the RCMP from these lands, and encourage the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of BC to commit to good faith negotiations with Wet’suwet’en. Further, we call on you to end any attempt at forced removal of Wet’suwet’en Nation from their traditional territories and refrain from any use of force against anyone seeking to prevent the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.