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Statement in Support of Wet’suwet’en Nation

Burns Lake, British Columbia © Flickr, duanephoto99

February 24, 2020 – Ontario Nature calls on the Government of Canada to halt the Coastal GasLink pipeline project until the free, prior and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en Nation is granted. Time and space are needed to resolve issues of title and leadership and allow for respectful dialogue and true consultation to occur.

The Government of Canada has committed to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These obligations include consulting and cooperating in good faith with Indigenous peoples through their own representative institutions to obtain their free, prior and informed consent on measures that may affect them.

The Wet’suwet’en Nation is governed both by elected Chiefs and Councils, a system established under the federal Indian Act, and by a traditional hereditary governance system that predates colonization. Under Wet’suwet’en law the Hereditary Chiefs are responsible for making decisions relating to their ancestral lands. Without their consent, the Coastal GasLink pipeline project should not be allowed to proceed.

We support the right of the Wet’suwet’en people to continue in their peaceful actions to protect their lands and waters.