Oxfam expresses our solidarity with the First Nations peoples of the unceded, unsurrendered Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territories, who are standing up for their rights and sovereignty in the face of major resource projects.
We are deeply concerned by the recent heavy-handed actions taken last week by the Canadian and British Columbia governments in deploying the RCMP in Wet’suwet’en territory and the excessive use force against peaceful land defenders, particularly at a time when the province of British Columbia is in a state of emergency due to extreme weather events and flooding. This escalation is in contradiction with recommendations issued by the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in December 2019, which call on Canada to withdraw police and security forces from the area.
Oxfam Canada calls on the federal and British Columbia governments to live up to their human rights obligations – including the recommendations from the UN CERD – and their commitments to respect and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is now enshrined in law both federally and provincially.
Working in collaboration and partnership with Wet’suwet’en peoples, hereditary chiefs and land defenders is the only way forward, towards a just and lasting resolution of this crisis.