Pagan statement of solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

We the undersigned believe that the colonial occupation and exploitation of Wet’suwet’en lands, and all other unceded lands, is illegal.

We acknowledge:

  • That in North America (Turtle Island), we are on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples, many of them unceded.
  • That Indigenous Peoples frequently did not receive payments or restitution for lands covered by treaties, and that treaties have frequently been reneged upon by colonial governments.
  • That the destructive exploitation of Indigenous lands by corporations and governments, and the prevalence of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people, is perpetuated by projects like the Coastal Gas Link and Trans Mountain pipelines.
  • That the painful history of the RCMP’s role in the destruction of Indigenous cultures makes them particularly unsuited to any policing activities on Indigenous lands.
  • That whilst many development projects have promised jobs and other economic benefits to Indigenous Peoples who have consented to them, the promised benefits frequently did not materialize.

We affirm:

  • That Indigenous Peoples have been in North America (Turtle Island) for thousands and thousands of years, and have unique and sacred relationships with the land, and the waters, and with Mother Earth. Lands managed by Indigenous Peoples have 80% of the biodiversity on Earth.
  • That the Wet’suwet’en traditional chiefs have jurisdiction over their traditional lands (Yintah).
  • That the aim of protests, blockades, and strikes is to disrupt business-as-usual. That is what makes them effective. The small inconvenience caused by the blockades is negligible compared to the genocidal policies inflicted on Indigenous Peoples over the last 400 years.
  • That other First Nations, environmental groups, land defenders, and other protesters have a right to protest in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.

As Pagans, Heathens, and Polytheists, we know that our polytheist ancestors in Europe and other parts of the world were displaced, forcibly converted, and massacred, and that the genocidal colonial policies inflicted on Indigenous Peoples are a continuation of that persecution, and of the pernicious doctrine of Terra Nullius, which we utterly repudiate.

We repudiate any organisations claiming to be Pagan or Heathen which espouse white supremacist views.

Therefore we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en traditional chiefs, Unist’ot’en Camp, and the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) protests at Tyendinaga.

We urge the government of Canada to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Wet’suwet’en traditional chiefs over their lands (in accordance with the Delgamuukw decision of 1997 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

And we urge the government of Canada to make meaningful restitution (i.e. returning lands to the control of Indigenous Peoples, or making restitution where that is not possible) instead of symbolic gestures of reconciliation.

And we demand that all development projects engage in meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples, which means with traditional leadership of First Nations, and a guaranteed right for First Nations to veto projects.

Photo credit: Yvonne Aburrow

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