Statement of Support for Wet’suwet’en Chiefs’ Constitutional Challenge
Art of Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs by Christ Belcourt
February 14, 2020 - Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) supports the two Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, Chief Lho'imggin (Alphonse Gagnon) and Smogelgem (Warner Naziel) who are asserting their inherent Indigenous rights and have launched a constitutional challenge against the expansion of all new fossil fuel projects in so-called Canada. They want the Federal Court to declare Canada has a constitutional obligation to meet international greenhouse gas emissions targets which would result in the cancellation of any project - including the Coastal GasLink pipeline - that would add to the climate emergency.
The global community has reinforced the importance of Indigenous rights within solutions for climate change.
Indigenous people must be part of the solution to climate change. This is because you have the traditional knowledge of your ancestors. The important value of that knowledge simply cannot—and must not—be understated. You are also essential in finding solutions today and in the future. The Paris Climate Change Agreement recognizes this. It recognizes your role in building a world that is resilient in the face of climate impacts.
- Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC
Chief Lho’imggin and Smogelgem are two of the numerous Indigenous community members who are showing the innate relationship between Indigenous rights and climate solutions.
The time is now for Canada to come side with climate justice! There is no room for double-speak and the cloaking of state violence under the auspices of colonial law and norms. Indigenous Peoples know best that Canada needs to drastically change for climate solutions to have any chance of achieving justice and sustainability in the future.
We must support these Hereditary Chiefs in their legal challenge and we must continue to stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. For further information and ideas on how to support, view the Wet’suwet’en Support Toolkit at: https://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/