Apache Surveyors Fail FPIC Protocol and Denied Access to Unis’tot’en Territory: Mapping and GIS Equipment Confiscated

22 Nov
November, 21, 2012, Unis’tot’en Camp
From the beautiful unceded Unis’tot’en Yintah (Territory):
At 10am on the morning of November 21, 2012, surveyors from Can-Am Geomatics were denied access to Unis’tot’en territory at the bridge crossing of the Wezin Kwah (Morice River).
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Toghestiy engaged the surveyors in a Free Prior and Informed Consent protocol. As the surveyors declined to share information obtained from their unauthorized entry the previous day, the decision was made not to allow the surveyors back into the territory to collect their equipment.
After the protocol at the bridge, Toghestiy stated that “the surveyors claimed they were working on a contract for Apache, an American oil and gas company. Apache is the leading partner in the Pacific Trails Pipeline project which intends to connect shale gas fields in Northeastern BC with LNG Terminals in Kitimat.” The Likhts’amisyu chief reasserted that “the Unis’tot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en have consistently stated that they will not allow such a pipeline to pass through their territory.”
The Unis’tot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en reject Apache’s claim to have support from a majority of indigenous groups along the pipeline route. Freda Huson states, “Apache’s claim that they have support from 15 out of 16 First Nation groups is extremely misleading. They are following the government’s direction to not deal with Hereditary Chiefs who are the legitimate title holders of these lands. Instead they are attempting to deal with Indian Act governments who have no jurisdiction off of their Indian Reservations. The Supreme Court of Canada’s Delgamuukw decision explicitly shows that they are breaking their own laws.”
After the surveyors were turned back, a crew from Unis’tot’en camp snowmobiled out to Crystal Road, some 20 kms from camp to retrieve materials left behind by the work crew the previous day. The materials were successfully retrieved and brought back to camp where they are being held until Apache and PTP agree to open up appropriate lines of communication with the Unis’tot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en according to the Free Prior and Informed Consent Protocol and laws of their sovereign unceded territories
For more information:
Freda Huson, Spokesperson for the Unis’tot’en by email at fhuson@gmail.com or by cell phone at 778-210-1100.
Toghestiy, Hereditary Wing Chief of the Likhts’amisyu at toghestiy@gmail.com , interview requests can be made by sending an email along with your contact information to the aforementioned email.
Background information:
The Wet’suwet’en are made up of five Clans, with territories that they are expected to manage for their future generations. The Unis’tot’en clan has been dead-set against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include PTP, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, and many others. The Unis’tot’en have established a permanent community along the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) directly in the path of the proposed energy corridor.
A 9-minute video explaining the community can be found at http://stoptheflows.tumblr.com/
The Unist’ot’en community’s website is http://unistotencamp.wordpress.com
Neither the Unis’tot’en People or the other Grassroots Wet’suwet’en are associated with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.
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