SAIA York condemns violations against Unis’tot’en Camp, calls on the federal government to respect Indigenous rights

We at Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University, long standing allies of the Indigenous people and defenders of Palestinian human rights, strongly condemn the injunction and the violations against Unist’ot’en Camp.

These violations are also against international law, specifically Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states that:

"Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.”

We stand in solidarity with the Gidumt’en clan in their defence of the Wet’suwet’en lands in the north of British Columbia against Coastal Gaslink Pipeline. We demand from the Government of British Columbia complete respect of Indigenous lands and a process to revoke permits for building pipelines on their territories. In addition, the risks of this pipeline have been demonstrated before, where they cause extreme harm to the native community and degrades their value of life.

We call on the federal government to pull funding from the oil companies, and respect the relationship with Indigenous peoples and further commit to real action on land pollution and climate change.

As part of the Palestine-solidarity movement, we have always strongly opposed all actions that trample upon the autonomy and sacredness of Indigenous lands. This has not been the first action that the Canadian government has taken against the Indigenous people, it stems from the historical colonial roots of this country. It also parallels the ongoing settler-colonization of Palestinian lands.

As residents and occupants of these lands our path to reconciliation should not only be based on recognition of Indigenous rights, but on maintaining and uplifting the status of Indigenous people, which the Canadian government has continuously failed to do.

People rally at Parliament Hill in support of the Wet'suwet'en camps in northern B.C. (Jorge Barrera/CBC)

People rally at Parliament Hill in support of the Wet'suwet'en camps in northern B.C. (Jorge Barrera/CBC)