Unist'ot'en Camp - Canada
The Unist’ot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern BC, Canada. The camp stands serves a checkpoint to keep out industry that has not been given consent to come onto the territory (e.g., workers for the Pacific Trail and Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines).
About the People-
Unis’tot’en – People of the Headwaters
The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’enYintah Wewat Zenli distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en. Over time in Wet’suwet’en History, the other clans developed and were included throughout Wet’suwet’en Territories. The Unis’tot’en are known as the toughest of the Wet’suwet’en as their territories were not only abundant, but the terrain was known to be very treacherous. The Unis’tot’en recent history includes taking action to protect their lands from Lions Gate Metals at their Tacetsohlhen Bin Yintah, and building a cabin and resistance camp at Talbits Kwah at Gosnell Creek and Wedzin Kwah (Morice River which is a tributary to the Skeena and Bulkley River) from seven proposed pipelines from Tar Sands Gigaproject and LNG from the Horn River Basin Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.
These are peaceful people who live off the land and are being threatened by many aspects of the oil industry. From pipelines to fracking to tar sands, they are gearing up to stand against Trans Canada which has a pipeline due for construction in 2017.
They need our help! Please watch this video about Unist’ot’en Camp
Going to Unist’ot’en Camp-
People are welcome to volunteer at the Camp.
The first step is to apply online HERE. The person is then contacted for an initial vetting and to discuss timing, transportation, etc. Once that's all settled, when the person arrives at the Camp they go through what's called "The free, prior and informed consent protocol". Essentially they are asked a series of questions to do with their intentions and potential contributions and are informed of the Camp rules. The Unist'ot'en then decide whether to allow them in. (Sounds harsh but no one would just be turned away and left in the bush. If they were refused entry due to their association with industry or government for example, at worst they would be escorted back to the nearest town.) The camp is located on a forest road 1200 km (740 mi) by road from Vancouver, BC and about 130 km from the town of Smithers.
Whats expected at camp-
People are expected to contribute labor and funds. Many people bring food contributions rather than significant money.
Some people come for just a few days, others stay for weeks or months.
Each year there are special times when there are greater numbers in Camp.
They are encouraging people to come in April this year. Spring melt will be underway then and with the Provincial election scheduled for early May there is concern that there will be a push by the pipeline companies. Our provincial government has been a big booster of the fracked gas industry and so far they have little to show for all their rhetoric.
May is always work camp. We will be trying to complete the Healing Lodge at that time. Anyone willing to work is welcome on the construction site but obviously anyone with trades skills is particularly appreciated. I'm the construction coordinator so if you're aware of anyone interested in helping with construction please cc me on any information exchange.
Each July there is an Action Camp. Usually about a week long, this camp combines work with various workshops on topics such as decolonization, security culture, non-violent direct action, reports from other front lines, etc.
How you can help Unist’ot’en Camp-
Donate! Currently they are constructing a healing lodge and any funds will help! Here’s a link to donate to the camp.
Send supplies to camp, the camp has an active list of need supplies HERE. Please follow the instructions on how to send supplies so they reach the proper place.
Go volunteer at camp! If you feel the call to come and help here’s the link to register. They need our help to protect their land we must all join together as one.