Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders’ Struggle Against the CGL Pipeline Continues

Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders Struggle Against the CGL Pipeline Continues

For as long as the first fur traders, missionaries, and pioneers, would settle in the lands that would later be claimed as British Colombia, and the country of so-called Canada, the Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan people have been fighting for their right to land and sovereignty. [1]

For more than a century, a rail line, owned and operated by the Canadian-state, has gone through the territory of the Gixtsan people, without any concern for the fact that it is unceded Indigenous land. [2]

In fact, the Gitxsan people are one of the first land claimants in B.C. history, dating back to the the Skeena Uprising of 1872, which saw Gixtsan land defenders blockade the Skeena River in protest of the ongoing destruction of their territory by gold miners. Now, over a century later, the blockades continue on. [3]

The Coastal GasLink pipeline, operated by TC Energy, runs from Northeast British Columbia to Kitimat, and will facilitate the export of natural gas to the Asian energy market. [4]

The pipeline project, which began in 2018, and has faced many environmental assessment violations, passes through several unceded First Nations territories, including that of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people. [5]

The pipeline is funded by more than two dozen financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Canada, which is profiting from this, and much more ecological destruction, by the tune of more than $263 billion dollars invested in fossil fuel extraction projects, including the CGL pipeline. [6]

In late September of 2022, despite years of public opposition from the Hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en, TC Energy began drilling underneath the Wedzin Kwa river. This further ecological destruction resulted in an urgent call to action among settler and non-settler allies made by Wet’suwet’en land defenders and their hereditary chiefs. [7]

On November 5th, 2022, numerous Indigenous activists and land defenders, along with settler and non-settler allies, participated in a nationwide demonstration of solidarity, in support of the Wet’suwet’en’s resistance against the CGL pipeline. [8]

In Toronto, amidst a string of public employee strikes, nearly a hundred demonstrators gathered outside of a major branch of the Royal Bank of Canada on Yonge Street, with the group marching to RBC headquarters on Bay Street later that day.

A week later, on November 12th, Indigenous land defenders, climate activists, labour unions and socialist groups marched in the streets of Toronto to once again raise awareness for the cause of Wet’suwet’en resistance against the CGL pipeline. [9]

Four months later, on March 19th, 2023, Wet’suwet’en land defender Eve Saint, along with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks made a call for mobilization of settler and non-settler allies across all of so-called Canada. [10]

RCMP Raid Gidimt’en Checkpoint

On March 29th, 2023, RCMP C-IRG authorities executed a raid on the Gidimt’en checkpoint resulting in the arrest of at least five individuals and the deployment of 14 law enforcement vehicles. Prior to the raid, C-IRG operatives had been working to infiltrate the camp, setting up trap line trails and monitoring the area. [11]

In the 24 hours preceding the raid, police were spotted on these trails, causing distress to the occupants. This tension culminated in the arrival of 14 law enforcement vehicles on the scene.

As officers swept through the camp, they detained everyone they encountered. Some individuals resorted to barricading themselves inside structures to evade arrest, while police made efforts to penetrate these makeshift defenses. It remains unclear whether additional arrests were made. The apparent objective of the operation was to clear and dismantle the camp, as has been the case in previous raids.

In response to the raid, community leaders, elders, and supporters converged on the camp to ensure the safety of those affected and to evaluate the situation. Updates continued to be provided as new information came to light. It is important to note that the Gidimt’en checkpoint  was under siege, with law enforcement officers making arrests at the behest of the pipeline company.

Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders Mobilize for RBC Annual General Meeting

As the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) approaches on April 5 in Saskatoon, Wet’suwet’en land defenders, and allies from across the nation are gearing up to make their voices heard on April 1st in what organizers are calling ‘Fossil Fools Day.‘ With 1,100 RBC branches and 578 locations nationwide, organizers have encouraged the public to participate in actions and communicate their concerns, in order to foster unity and progress. [12]

The RBC is known to be one of the top five global banks financing environmentally destructive projects. By attending the RBC AGM, land defenders and settler allies aim to expose the truth of what is happening and to make a real difference.

This movement emphasizes the importance of forging connections, engaging in open communication, and staying true to one’s convictions. Advocates believe that unity is essential for making a significant impact on various aspects of society and the way business is conducted.

The message is clear: working together positively and maintaining unity will ensure that their presence and impact will be felt for centuries to come.

Solidarity and Delgamuukw forever.

For more information on how to get involved, please visit:


[1] https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/10513

[2] https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/9786691

[3] Sterritt, N. J., Marsden, S. A., Galois, R. M., Grant, P. R., & Overstall, R. (1998). Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed. UBC Press.

[4] “Coastal GasLink pipeline: Everything you need to know about the LNG project in northern B.C.” – Global News, January 10, 2020: https://globalnews.ca/news/6388209/coastal-gaslink-pipeline-what-you-need-to-know/

[5] “The Wet’suwet’en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer” – The Yellowhead Institute, February 2020: https://yellowheadinstitute.org/2020/02/05/the-wetsuweten-aboriginal-title-and-the-rule-of-law-an-explainer/

[6] https://stand.earth/our-work/campaigns/royal-bank-of-canada-and-fossil-fuels/

[7] https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/09/22/news/wetsuweten-coastal-gaslink-drilling-wedzin-kwa

 [8] https://socialistaction.ca/2022/11/07/socialist-action-apart-of-nation-wide-demonstration-in-solidarity-with-wetsuweten-self-determination/

[9] https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/11/12/hundreds-protest-for-climate-action-at-un-summit/

[10] https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=613755800612145

[11] https://www.instagram.com/p/CqYgvPfKUkH/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link