FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 19, 2021 (Unceded Likht’samisyu Territory – Houston, BC):
Coastal Gaslink (CGL) has removed all heavy machinery from the Wet’suwet’en territory of Parrot Lake following the seizure and decommissioning of an excavator by Likht’samisyu Hereditary Chief Dsta’hyl.
Likht’samisyu is one of five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation, each of which have rejected all fossil fuel pipeline projects slated to cross unceded Wet’suwet’en lands. In January 2020, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs (including several Likht’samisyu chiefs) issued an eviction notice to Coastal Gaslink and its employees, resulting in nationwide solidarity actions and the immediate eviction of Coastal Gaslink workers from Wet’suwet’en lands.
On October 17, nearly two years after large-scale police raids on Wet’suwet’en lands, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ eviction notice was once again enforced in observance of Wet’suwet’en laws.
Likht’samisyu Enforcement Officers including Chiefs Tsebesa and Dsta’hyl verbally warned Coastal Gaslink employees that they are trespassing on Wet’suwet’en land and that their equipment would be subject to decommissioning and seizure. Upon CGL’s failure to remove equipment from Likht’samisyu land, Chief Dsta’hyl seized and decommissioned a Coastal Gaslink excavator.
Following the decommissioning of the excavator, Coastal Gaslink complied with the Hereditary Chiefs’ eviction notice within the Parrot Lake area and removed all remaining heavy equipment.
Coastal Gaslink has been damaging wetlands that flow to Parrot Lake, where Likht’samisyu Chiefs and members have reclaimed a traditional village site and established a community.
On a neighbouring Wet’suwet’en territory, Gidimt’en chiefs and supporters have blockaded a key Coastal Gaslink worksite for 25 days, preventing the pipeline company from drilling beneath Wet’suwet’en headwaters.
“We’ve already decommissioned one vehicle. It’s going to be the beginning of many that are going to be decommissioned, until CGL moves their equipment off of Likht’samisyu territory,” stated Chief Dsta’hyl in a video.
“Our government is going to be looking after our interests ourselves, on all of our land. Logging, mining, and anything else that’s on our territory. This is just the beginning.”
Media Contact: Chief Smogelgem (Warner Naziel)