September 30, 2021 marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. As one of the calls to action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation asked settlers to reflect on the histories, intergenerational legacies, and ongoing acts of colonial violence, including cultural genocide. Reconciliation demands nation-to-nation relationships that respect the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations.
The theft of land is not a matter of history; it is an ongoing process fundamental to Canada’s position as a settler colonial nation. From Fairy Creek to 1492 Landback Land to Wet’suwet’en, the Canadian state and industry continues to encroach on unceded land. Time and time again, Canada fails to live up to its treaty responsibilities.
We stand with Wet’suwet’en First Nation, as the British Columbia Government, the Canadian Government, and the RCMP encroach on their unceded lands. Under the Canadian state’s watch, the RCMP conducts militarized raids, arrests Elders, and enacts direct violence unto Land Defenders. We stand with Wet’suwet’en and all Indigenous Land Defenders.
Wet’suwet’en First Nation has demanded an end to the illegal encroachment of their lands by Coastal Gaslink. As unceded lands, the Canadian state has no jurisdiction over this territory. On paper, Canada signed on to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, which calls for free, prior, and informed consent. In reality, Canada sends RCMP agents to violently push the Coastal Gaslink pipeline despite Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ opposition. This is not a nation-to-nation relationship.
We make the following calls:
- We call on the Government of Canada and British Columbia to cease their illegal encroachment of Wet’suwet’en land.
- We demand an end to the RCMP’s violence toward Indigenous Land Defenders and for officers to be held accountable for their violent actions.
- We demand that politicians who have been calling for or authorizing force, including non-lethal, to be held accountable for incitements to violence.
- We call on the government of Canada to honour its treaty responsibilities and its commitments under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. We demand action, not words.
Adopted unanimously by the Peel Regional Labour Council delegation on November 24, 2021.
PDF of the statement.