Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wet'suwet'en Intercept "Midnight" Survey Team

Pipeline Surveyors"Evicted" from BC First Nations Territory


Hi! I'm sending a call for support. Last night, our friends from Wet'suwet'en First Nation turfed a pipeline surveying crew from their territory after the crew was found "trespassing" without permission. Chief Toghestiy presented the crew leader with an eagle feather (a traditional notice of trespass) and a verbal warning. The Morice River West Forest Service Road is now closed 66 km south of Houston BC at the bridge over Wedzin Kwah (Morice River).

This 4-minute video shows Chief Toghestiy delivering the trespass notice November 20:

Here's the report from CBC:

Defenders from the Unis'tot'en Clan and allies are camping at the site of the blockade to stop any more attempts at pipeline construction.

I'm asking for support for our friends who are standing up to stop the pipelines. I pledged to send the Unis'tot'en Camp $3200 by Christmas for winter gear: snowshoes, parkas, boots, saws, axes, and insulation
for the cabins. Forest Action Network is collecting donations to send to the defenders. Click this link to help reach this goal:

The camp sits in the path of the planned Enbridge tar sands pipeline, part of the route other gas and oil companies plan to take advantage of to reach the coast. In August, I helped FAN deliver a caravan of
food, building supplies, and 100 volunteers to build the Unis'tot'en Camp. We also brought a $2500 cash donation for food and tools. This month, we sent another $800 for winter supplies. But more help is  needed. It's very cold there and the snow is already deep on the ground!

We're also seeking donations to the Eco Warriors Legal Trust -- "legal aid for activists."

Want to join the defenders? Send me a note and we can start planning the second caravan to Unis'tot'en. On Facebook? Like FAN and get the latest news!

Later this week I'll send a reminder about the community meeting in Victoria Tuesday Nov 27, 7 pm at 234 Menzies, to prep for the pipeline companies' public meetings in Victoria December and January. Info:

Thank you very much for your support!

Zoe Blunt
Forest Action Network
"Small but mighty"

Press release from the Unis'tot'en Defenders:

Unis'tot'en defenders order pipeline surveyors off indigenous territory

On the evening of November 20th, 2012, a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief near Houston BC intercepted a pipeline surveying crew and presented them with a notice of trespass and a verbal warning. The surveyors said they were with the Can-Am Geomatics company, working to prepare the way for Apache’s proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). Chief Toghestiy handed the crew leader an eagle feather, which is the first and only notice of trespass in Wet’suwet’en law. The defenders ordered the surveyors (and all other people associated with PTP) to leave the territory and not return to Unis’tot’en land.

As a result of the unsanctioned PTP work in the Unist’ot’en yintah (territory), the road leading into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice. Morice River West Forest Service Road is closed at the bridge over Wedzin Kwah (Morice River) 66 km south of Houston.

Toghestiy states: “I have invoked the Wet’suwet’en Inuk nu’ot’en (Law) called Bi Kyi Wa’at’en (Responsibility of a husband to respectfully use and protect his wife’s territory) to issue a trespass notice to Pipeline workers on her sovereign territory. My Clan’s territory called Lho Kwa (Clore River) is located behind the Unist’ot’en territory adjacent to the Coastal town of Kitimat and it is our responsibility to protect our territory as well. We will be stopping all proposed pipelines.”

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 Widzin Kwa (Morice River) directly in the path of the
proposed energy corridor and made their opposition extremely clear.

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unis’tot’en Clan, states: “PTP does not have permission to be on our territory. It’s unceded land. We said “NO!” in their meetings. We’ve written them letters; I’ve sent them emails, saying “absolutely NO!” to their projects. Consider it trespass when you enter our territory without permission. You’ve received your warning. Don’t come back!”

This marks the second time that eagle feathers have been issued to pipeline workers. On August 23rd, 2010, Toghestiy and Hagwilakw of the Likhts’amisyu clan gave Enbridge representatives trespass warnings during a Smithers Town Council meeting where Enbridge attended to attempt to smooth over their recent oil spill on the Kalamazoo River.

This 4-minute video shows Chief Toghestiy delivering the trespass notice November 20:

A 9-minute video explaining the community can be found at The Unist’ot’en community’s website is

Please note that neither the Unis’tot’en People or the other Grassroots Wet’suwet’en are associated with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.

Hotline: 250-813-3569

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