Wet’suwet’en land struggle: Give Respect

Moderator and Elders’ Council on the Wet’suwet’en land struggle

United Church Moderator Very Rev Richard Bott and the National Indigenous Elders’ Council have joined their voices to express concern about the current situation on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory. They note the different interpretations of whether consent to Coastal Gas Link’s natural gas pipeline was given or not.

“This difference in interpretation of who makes decisions is a collision of Indigenous and colonial law. We believe it is being used by governments and the pipeline company as a wedge to push this project through. We believe this must stop, and be replaced by genuine dialogue honouring the sacredness of the land and Indigenous people.

If right relations between Indigenous and Settler peoples is to have any chance, then Canada must, in compliance with Article 27 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, respect Indigenous peoples’ decision-making according to their laws and traditions.”

Please read and share this letter with your community of faith and beyond. This is a hard issue for many in our communities, and difficult to talk about. But our Apology as a church and our commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hold us to the responsibility Jesus and the prophets model for us: to speak and listen to hard realities with open hearts.

Photo by Dave Shaver: Protestor waving native flag in front of Justice sculpture during the Winnipeg Walk for Wet’suwet’en February 18