SMITHERS, BC: On the morning of September 25, 2021, the access road to Coastal GasLink’s (CGL’s) drill site at the Wedzin Kwa river was destroyed. Blockades have been set up and sites have been occupied, to stop the drilling under the sacred headwaters that nourish the Wet’suwet’en Yintah and all those within its catchment area. Cas Yikh and supporters have gained control of the area and refuse to allow this destruction to continue.
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs were denied access to their own lands, and there has been one arrest confirmed. The Hereditary Chiefs were read the injunction and threatened with arrest, but they held their ground. Despite heavy machinery and heavy RCMP presence, our relatives and supporters are standing strong holding the line, and so far no more arrests have been confirmed. As of Sunday, September 26, the individual arrested has been released and the chiefs and supporters continue to hold the line and successfully hold off any work by CGL.
Days ago, CGL destroyed our ancient village site, Ts’elkay Kwe. When Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo’ attempted to monitor the CGL archaeological team and contest the destruction of Wet’suwet’en cultural heritage, she was aggressively intimidated by CGL security guards. Tensions have continued to rise on the Yintah as CGL pushes a reckless and destructive construction schedule with the support of private security and the RCMP.
Now, CGL is ready to begin drilling beneath our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa. We know that this would be disastrous, not only for Wet’suwet’en people, but for all living beings supported by the Wedzin Kwa, and for the communities living downstream. Wedzin Kwa is a spawning ground for salmon and a critical source of pristine drinking water. States Sleydo’, Gidimt’en Checkpoint Spokesperson:
“Our way of life is at risk. […] Wedzin Kwa [is the] the river that feeds all of Wet’suwet’en territory and gives life to our nation.”
Coastal Gaslink has been evicted from our territories by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs who have full jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en lands. Coastal GasLink is pushing through a 670-kilometer fracked gas pipeline, but under ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law) all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided free, prior, and informed consent to Coastal Gaslink to do work on Wet’suwet’en lands.
As Coastal GasLink continues to trespass, we will do everything in our power to protect our waters and to uphold our laws. Gidimt’en Checkpoint has issued a call for support, asking people to travel to Cas Yikh territory to stand with them.
For further information please go to: yintahaccess.com
Media backgrounder here
Photo Credit: Michael Toledano
Jennifer Wickham, Gidimt’en Checkpoint Media Coordinator
Phone number: 778-210-0067