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Shake Up The Establishment Stands with Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Author: Aarisha Elvi Haider, Co-Director of Research

Contributor/Editor: Rose Duncan, Chief Research Officer

“Shake Up The Establishment strongly opposes and condemns the RCMP’s and the federal government’s violation of peoples and earth on the unceded territories of Wet’suwet’en. It is appalling, preposterous, and unacceptable to witness this perpetual violence and the continued execution of legacy colonialism directly upon Indigenous communities, despite Canada’s recent uncovering of 1,300+ suspected unmarked graves of children condemned to residential schools. Canada’s ongoing relationship with Indigenous communities has repeatedly been filled with lofty promises, yet often we see action veering in entirely the opposite direction of the government’s public commitment to Reconciliation. This makes it undeniably challenging for us to come together and call ourselves a nation where we honour and celebrate Indigenous peoples who have been living with this land for time immemorial, who have been fighting for this land on the frontlines, and all the while still recognizing that what is currently Canada could be a manifestation of strong relationships and solidarity within our beautiful communities.

In this year 2021, this land, which is currently British Columbia, experienced drastic weather changes only three short months apart, leaving communities displaced and more vulnerable to recurrent events. What the government fails to understand, or perhaps does not want to understand, is that the relationship between climate change and good living is Reconciliation in Canada.

In a dire moment where most of our infrastructure and land is submerged in flooding water, we see resilience in our communities but not from the federal government. Instead, we see irresponsibly focused energy and resources in the shape of a police violation to forcibly remove Indigenous people from their own sovereignty and land, to remove Indigenous peoples from protecting the very land that protects us all. While many continue to perform acts of allyship and stand alongside their neighbours, those in positions of power fail to stand up for Reconciliation, truth, and love. While many have put their energies in the worldly discussion of COP 26, unabashedly preaching the need for “net zero” and “clean economies”, our leaders fail to reflect those same heavily loaded jargons into reality; for reality is one for our collective imagination, our collective love for one another, and to imagine that everyone in this world is a part of this movement together. Forced removal and violation is a sign of disrespect that we teach the younger generation; and if we do not intercept this sign of disconnection and disrespect, we hold responsible for teaching the future generations the normalization of colonialism and colonial mentality, which, undeniably will impede us as a collective.

If we are serious about climate change, we must recognize that Indigenous communities are responsible for preserving 80% of the world's biodiversity even though they account for only 5% of the world’s population. These numbers speak volumes to the depth of intelligence of Indigenous knowledge, and how this wisdom is the key to climate solutions. Forced installation of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline is an evident form of colonialism that is not only set to destroy Indigenous ways of being but also the environment as we interact with it today. This will have a massive impact on all sentient beings that are interconnected.”

To learn more about the impacts of Coastal Gas Link Pipeline, please click here.

  • Host a solidarity rally or action in your area.

  • Issue a solidarity statement from your organization or group. Email to:

  • Write to your local representatives: you can use this email template to contact your elected representative. Please make sure to customize to ensure it doesn’t get filtered out.

  • Pressure the government, banks, and investors.

    • To learn more about which banks are supporting the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline, click here.

  • Donate:

  • On-going education: Please read the Truth and Reconciliation Report 94 TRC Calls To Action and understand whose lands and territories we are on, and reflect on that relationship to cultivate strong solidarity with Indigenous communities.

  • Visit the Gidim'ten Checkpoint website for further actions and accessing means of support.

Media Contact:

Mei-Ling Patterson, Director of Communications

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