After Police Defend a Gas Pipeline Over Indigenous Land Rights, Protesters Shut Down Railways Across Canada

Inside the Wet’suwet’en resistance camp standing in the way of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The post After Police Defend a Gas Pipeline Over Indigenous Land Rights, Protesters Shut Down Railways Across Canada appeared first on The Intercept.

After Police Defend a Gas Pipeline Over Indigenous Land Rights, Protesters Shut Down Railways Across Canada

Inside the Wet’suwet’en resistance camp standing in the way of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

THE WEEKS LEADING up to Dr. Karla Tait’s arrest were tense at the Unist’ot’en camp, which for a decade has stood in the way of fossil fuel pipeline construction through the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s unceded territory in British Columbia. On New Year’s Eve, British Columbia’s Supreme Court granted an injunction barring members of the Indigenous nation from obstructing work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were authorized to enforce the order, but no one knew when they would come.

Tait’s aunt Freda Huson has lived on the territory since she built the first Unist’ot’en cabin in 2010, directly in the path of at least three proposed pipelines that would stretch across pristine mountain wilderness to export facilities in the coastal community of Kitimat. Unist’ot’en, which has grown to include a bunkhouse, a traditional pit house, traplines, and a three-story healing center, is associated with one of 13 houses that make up the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The camp is the oldest and most remote of a series of Wet’suwet’en camps established along an old logging road as an assertion of the nation’s right to decide what happens on their territory. Until this month, members controlled access to the area with gates constructed in the middle of the road.

One of the proposed pipelines, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands oil pipeline, was canceled in 2016. The future of a second, the Pacific Trails natural gas pipeline, was thrown into uncertainty after Chevron announced plans to divest its 50 percent share. But TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, has forged ahead with the Coastal GasLink project — despite opposition from the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s traditional leaders, the hereditary chiefs. [...]