BC Studies Stands in Solidarity
February 25, 2020
BC Studies stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation land and water defenders who exercise their jurisdiction over their sovereign, unceded yin tah in opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Despite the proposal by Hereditary Chiefs of an alternate route through their territory, Coastal GasLink has chosen to proceed without the consent of those who hold the authority and responsibility to govern and protect the yin tah. We condemn the use of force against the land and water defenders and their allies. We call on the federal and provincial governments to respect the jurisdiction of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs over their unceded territory.
Both the federal and provincial governments have repeatedly stated their commitment to Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action1 and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).2 Article 19 of UNDRIP reads: “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.” Government must abide by this principle. Short of doing so, it cannot claim to be engaged in a meaningful form of reconciliation.
UBC’s Board of Governors has adopted an Indigenous Strategic Plan whose vision and mission are as follows:
- “Vision: UBC as the leading university globally in implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights, as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights law.
- “Mission: To guide UBC’s engagement with Indigenous peoples and its commitment to reconciliation, as articulated and called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”3
We join other units at UBC who urge the University to take a stand in support of the Wet’suwet’wen right to exercise jurisdiction and sovereignty over their unceded territory. Such a statement would align with the commitments that UBC has pledged in both its Climate Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan.
Paige Raibmon, Editor
Editorial Board Members:
Sarah de Leeuw
Imogene L Lim
Michael D. Mehta
Anna J. Willow
BC Studies Staff:
Leanne Coughlin, Managing Editor
Devon Arthur, Journal Assistant
Amelia Newsome, Journal Assistant