"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Indigenous Land Defender calls for civil unrest Featured

 

As tensions between the First Nations and Canadian establishment escalate over controversial pipeline projects, Kwitsel Tatel called for “civil unrest” on Thursday morning.

An Indigenous Land Defender and Water Protector, Tatel was speaking with Spice Radio where she had gone to participate in their campaign against racism started in 2015.  

Responding to a question about the recent Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in favour of building Trans Mountain Pipeline and the RCMP arrests of Indigenous activists camping against Coastal GasLink's LNG Pipeline in north-central BC, she categorically said, “We need unrest, civil unrest, because so called British Columbia will not be beautiful anymore.”

Tatel has been in the forefront of grassroots movement against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that many indigenous communities believe is being pushed through their traditional lands without informed consent, carrying the potential to pollute water and destroy their livelihood.

The LNG pipeline in Unistoten territory is also being opposed for similar reasons. The arrest of the activists in that region comes shortly after the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision that has enraged several First Nations. It is pertinent to mention that a recent report by the United Nations Committee on Racial Discrimination had asked Canada to abandon these projects, as well as the Site C dam.

Ironically, the BC NDP government, which last year adopted legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, remains adamant on building Site C, which will flood First Nation lands. The provincial government is likely to invite the wrath of Indigenous communities following the arrests made in Unistoten. This has triggered ugly memories of the Gustafsen Lake episode of 1995, when the then-Attorney General in BC's NDP government, Ujjal Dosanjh, sent an RCMP contingent to arrest Indigenous peoples who had gathered to organize Sun Dance ceremonies on their traditional territory, to protect the interests of ranchers.  

Launched by Spice Radio, #HandsAgainstRacism encourages people to dip their hands in colour and leave a handprint on a white sheet alongside a message against bigotry as part of the campaign which entered its sixth year in January.

Tatel wrote beneath her coloured handprint, “Really, water will find its place!” before she left the studio.

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Last modified on Monday, 10 February 2020 12:41
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