Statement Regarding Violence on Traditional and Unceded Wet’suwet’en Territory

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To: Honourable John Horgan and Honourable Mike Farnworth

RE: The Violence on Traditional and Unceded Wet’suwet’en Territory against Land Defenders and Indigenous Peoples

Dear Premier Horgan & Minister Farnworth:

It is with great disappointment that the Alma Mater Society of UBC (AMS) and the Graduate Student Society of UBC (GSS) received the news of the RCMP’s violence at the Gidimt’en checkpoint on traditional and unceded Wet’suwet’en territory on November 18, 2021.

The AMS condemns this colonial violence and calls for the following actions to be taken:

  1. Cessation of violence and human rights against the Land Defenders and Indigenous Peoples at the Gidimt’en checkpoint;
  2. The RCMP’s withdrawal from the Wet’suwet’en territory;
  3. Protection of the Wedzin Kwa sacred waters;
  4. Accountability for these actions and reparations for the harm

On November 18, Indigenous Peoples, Land Defenders and journalists were arrested following a militarized raid of the resistance camp, Coyote Camp. The RCMP raided the camp before sweeping through the rest of the area (the Gidimt’en checkpoint) and making further arrests, forcibly removing Indigenous People from their land. This violence by the RCMP comes during a provincial state of emergency with climate catastrophes occurring across the province.

The decision to enact this violence is unacceptable and in understanding the provincial government’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP), these actions violated several articles of UNDRIP. These articles are as follows:

  • Article 8: States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
    • (a) any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories and resources;
  • Article 10: Indigenous Peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories;
    • Unceded Territory of the Coast Salish, Tsleil Watuth, and Musqueam People
  • Article 26 (1):Indigenous People have the right to lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.
    • (2) Indigenous Peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership and other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.
    • (3) States shall give recognition and protection to these lands, territories and Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the Indigenous Peoples concerned.
  • Article 32: Indigenous Peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their land or territories and other resources.

It is essential that we all collectively work towards meaningful reconciliation and decolonization. The AMS and GSS urge the provincial government and by extension, the RCMP, to immediately cease any and all violence against the Land Defenders and Indigenous Peoples and to take accountability for harm caused.


Cole Evans


Alma Mater Society of UBC


Saad Shoalb

Vice-President, External Affairs

Alma Mater Society of UBC


Ashni Gill

Vice-President, External Affairs

Graduate Student Society of UBC


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