by Alleen Brown and Amber Bracken
Posted April 15, 2020
After Police Defend a Gas Pipeline Over Indigenous Land Rights, Protesters Shut Down Railways Across Canada.
On February 10, a helicopter delivered RCMP officers and snowmobiles behind the Unist’ot’en gate. They watched from a hill overlooking the camp as more officers approached from the road. Surrounded on all sides, Tait, her mother, her aunt, and four supporters stood near the barrier, praying and drumming. Tait was the third to be arrested. “Two officers came around me and held my arms to try to prevent me from drumming,” she said. They continued to sing, even as they were loaded into the police van.
While the Canadian government continues to pursue a years long effort to heal its relationship with Indigenous people, for many, the arrests of the Unist’ot’en matriarchs were representative of the government’s unwillingness to take meaningful action toward reconciliation — especially when it comes to land rights. Indeed, documents uncovered by journalists and researchers confirm that officials have strategized furiously about how to prevent the Wet’suwet’en people’s assertion of land rights from getting in the way of the message that Canada is open for business. More…