Please note that all information about the Unist’ot’en Camp and how to support this front-line land defence and re-occupation of traditional territory can now be found at a single site: unistoten.camp/
This also includes information for prospective volunteers including the registration form which can be found HERE.
Thank you for your interest, support and solidarity.
Unist’ot’en Camp spokesperson Freda Huson has announced the dates for Spring Work Camp 2017. The Camp will run from May 8 to 26.
This will be a busy Camp – there’s lots to do to complete the Healing Lodge Phase 2 and to commence work on Phase 3. Lots of other projects as well, as always.
If you are able to attend please do two things:
The weekend of March 24-26, 2017 was a historic one in the history of Indigenous sovereignty and land defense. It kicked-off on the Friday evening with an over-capacity crowd to hear land defenders from Lelu Island on the north-west coast to Standing Rock North Dakota.
Then over two days of intense and productive workshops and plenary sessions the framework for the network was hammered out. It will bring together land defenders and allies to share resources, amplify our outreach and coordinate responses to industry and government.
Working groups met, made connections and developed plans for ongoing work in specific areas of skills and skill development. Experienced camp cook, medics, builders, researchers and others all pooling their knowledge and figuring out how to best share and grow the knowledge base in the movement so it can be mobilized where and when needed.
This is a major step forward in developing and solidifying the movement to protect Mother Earth and stop extreme extraction and exploitation of Indigenous lands.
If you live in or within hiking distance of Vancouver you won’t want to miss this musical fundraising event. Last year’s was a big success and a lot of fun for everyone.
Saturday March 11 at the Imperial, 319 Main Street. From 7:30 until you wear your feet off dancing.
You can download the poster here: 170204_stopstart_vancouver; put it up on your wall, give copies to friends, hand them out on street corners….
With the biggest chunk of winter behind them the Camp is looking ahead to the spring. Lots of work to be done especially when we get into March. Hard to believe but Work Camp 2017 won’t be far behind and things need to be made ready to welcome the big influx of volunteers that always comes with spring.
So this is the time to register to head up, if you haven’t already. Can you aim for March 1 and stay for several weeks, or even well into the spring? Go to the registration page for new visitors, or this short form if you have been at the camp before.
Bob Ages – Ladner BC
After helping with all the USB activity in support of Spring Work Camp, Action Camp and the Youth Art Camp I was finally able to get up to the Yintah* myself in late August for a brief visit. As always it was literally a breath of fresh air to get away from the hubbub of organizing in the city and reconnect with the land.
The trip up with a friend and a truck load of food supplies went smoothly and with a lot of laughs. She thought it was cute when I checked the route of a little side trip on an actual folding paper map – she of course had a smart phone with Google maps. But then I’m from the “two cans on a string” generation.
Was great to see old friends and hear about how the spring and summer activities went. Of course the big development this year is the near completion of the second stage of the Healing Centre. It is looking great and everyone is looking forward to getting the interior work completed.
Another highlight of the summer was the work on the bunkhouse mural; the finishing touches were just being completed. It is absolutely gorgeous thanks to Toghestiy’s artistry. Was good to see the permaculture garden bursting with the last produce of the season and the pit-house roof completed and already sprouting with native vegetation – as Wet’suwet’en homes did before colonization and dispossession.
The relaxed atmosphere at the camp this summer felt a little strange after last year’s high alert. It had been a little tense at the end of August 2015 doing bridge duty in the dark hours before sunrise while the RCMP Emergency Response Team waited just two hours away in Smithers for the signal to move in with their armoured vehicles and automatic weapons. A signal that never came due to the quick and massive outpouring of support and solidarity all across Turtle Island and beyond.
This year after another quiet day doing routine chores and a little carpentry a fresh volunteer woke me up at 4 am, alarmed by the passage of a logging truck. I explained that the clan has an agreement to allow logging of a cut block on the territory – part of their strategy to maintain good relations with the forestry contractors and workers who are their neighbours and importantly to demonstrate they are not “blockading” but rather continuing to exercise their historic stewardship of the land, determining who may – and who may not – access the Yintah.
But this year is probably the calm in the eye of a hurricane. We’ve all heard about the uncertainty around investment decisions regarding the pipelines and the fracked gas industry in general. Perhaps it is just a matter of time before this fantasy of riches and jobs from LNG collapses. But our information is that like cornered rats the companies are getting desperate, even more determined to demonstrate their viability to investors by getting construction underway. And there is a provincial election in 2017 where the lack of progress on Christy Clark’s grand vision of a fracked future may be highlighted. So our advice to supporters is to gear up and make plans to be at the camp for as long as you can spare next year. Skip a semester from school, book some extended vacation time from work, or otherwise free yourself up for a good long spell on the front line.
The day before heading home to the Lower Mainland I was honoured to be able to help Freda fulfill the promise she made to her dad before he passed a year ago; to fix the fence around her parent’s house in Moricetown for her mom. It was a long tough work day for an old fart like me but there was a great crew and it got done just before it turned too dark to see where to hit a nail.
To end this report thought I’d relate a funny story from the late night drive we took from camp to Moricetown so we could get an early start on that fence. We were pulled over by a female RCMP officer for speeding. Got off with a warning and reminder that section of highway has speed limit of 90 kmh, not 100. Toghestiy commented afterwards it was a perfect example of white privilege, good reason to always have the old white guy driving the truck, not the “NDN’s”. I had to disagree. I’m sure it was my charm and good looks. Lol
* Yintah is a Wet’suwet’en word that describes the land, air, water and all beings. It can also be translated as “Mother Earth”. It also contains within it an awareness of the relationships, values and respect inherent in Indigenous protocol and laws.
This year´s 7th Annual Action Camp was well received by some incredible and compassionate human beings. There were many profound workshops on Indigenous Land Defender Self-Care, Settler Solidarity, Anonymity and Safety in Cyber Space, Green House Design, and much more. A strategic action plan is now in the works to help us counter the misleading multi-Billion dollar propaganda that government, industry, and pro-industry forces employ.
We may be a grassroots led movement but we are formidable and unstoppable. It is people like you who make this possible. If we believe-in and project a message from the onset that, ¨There Will Be NO Pipelines¨ we know without a doubt that we will manifest that statement. There is no soft language in our message. Our conviction is backed up by thousands and thousands of years of ancestral wisdom and power. They stand behind us; they bless us.
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who came to this year´s camp, the organizers from the Unistoten Solidarity Brigade, and to all of the supporters and allies, like you, who are living a life that your children will respect and honour.
The Camp is getting ready to welcome people to this summer’s Action Camp – just a week away. Here in the south the volunteers of the Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade have been busy interviewing new visitors and arranging ride-sharing for both new and returning supporters. If you are thinking of heading up but haven’t registered yet it’s not too late.
Just heard from a good friend at the Camp that the weather is a little challenging so be prepared if you are heading up soon. A fair amount of rain, then as hot as 34 C when the sun comes out. Then cool at night and first thing in the morning.
July 13-17, 2016
The theme this year is: Strategizing to reach more people in educating about climate change and impacts to all
– From messaging via various mediums
– Fundraising campaigns that work
If you have knowledge you want to share send a bio and information on your workshop to Freda
If you know Indigenous Youth who are talented budding Artists check this out! We have a 2 week camp coming up which will bring together notable Northwest Coast Artists (for a 50 foot and 20 foot wall mural, Interpretive Signs, Replica Bentwood boxes…). There will also be Gifted Psychiatrists & Counselors specializing in Youth Mental Wellness, Wonderful Wet’suwet’en Language Teachers, Talented Western Artists, Visionary Documentary Film Makers (Filming and Editing), Creative Crafts People, and Amazing Comic Designers.
This is a great opportunity for young Indigenous people to practice their skills, learn about our culture and meet like-minded people . The availability of spaces may soon be limited so get organizing and register yourselves or the Youth in your community now!