200 Canadian Musicians & Industry Members Sign Statement Supporting Arrested Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders in B.C.

Around 200 Canadian musician and members of the music industry have signed a statement protesting the 14 people arrested in British Columbia's Wet'suwet'en territory who were preventing a pipeline company from accessing to forest service road. The protesters, who are commonly referred to as land defenders, from the Wet'suwet'en Nation object to the Coastal GasLink pipeline that planned to transport natural gas from northeastern B.C. to an LNG Canada facility on the Pacific coast.

The statement is signed by members of The Sadies, PUP, Max Kerman (Arkells), Tanya Tagaq, Weaves, Tokyo Police Club, Torquil Campbell (Stars), Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers), Sarah Harmer, Cadence Weapon, Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Peaches, Owen Pallett, and many others.

"On January 7th, 2019 we watched, infuriated as a militarized RCMP forced the removal of 14 land protectors from Wet’suwet’en territory at gunpoint. The continued invasion of unceded Wet’suwet’en land by Coastal GasLink pipeline workers without your consent violates Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and ‘Anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en Law)," the statement begins. "We have heard your hereditary chiefs say 'No' to the Coastal Gaslink development and we intend to amplify it."

It goes on to say, "As musicians, we know a PR campaign when we see one: since 2015 Justin Trudeau has promoted a message of Truth and Reconciliation and professed the goal of building meaningful nation-to-nation relationships, but his government’s actions don’t align. Meaningful nation-to-nation relationships are not made at gunpoint."

The letter argues that a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada decision empowers the Wet’suwet’en nation’s hereditary leaders with decision-making power on their unceded territory.

To read the full statement, go HERE.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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