Ways to Support Wet’suwet’en from Home
There are options for Wet’suwet’en allies who can not come to the protests
Opinions / February 19, 2020
On Dec. 31, the B.C. Supreme Court granted Coastal GasLink an injunction against the Wet’suwet’en First Nation for blocking access to its planned pipeline route. Armed with weapons, the RCMP began removing Wet’suwet’en people from their unceded land last Thursday.
As a result, thousands of protests and blockades have popped up across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en, including three blockades at Clark Drive and Hastings Street, Powell Street and Heatley Avenue, and at the entrance to the Deltaport in Delta. All of these spots lead to ports controlled by the Fraser Valley Port Authority.
It’s easy to feel guilty about being unable to be present at these blockades. You may even have perfectly valid reasons for not being able to attend, such as accessibility-related issues, family or work-related commitments, or a lack of reliable transportation. Maybe you’re worried about retaliation for attending, whether it’s losing your job, harassment, or encountering physical violence. Whatever the case is for you, there are ways to show your support for the Wet’suwet’en without leaving the house.
The first option for those looking to help is to contact the government directly. The Unist’ot’en supporter toolkit provides emails for this, as well as numbers for the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser in B.C. and the Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould with the federal government. The “We Support the Unist’ot’en and the Wet’suwet’en Grassroots Movement” Facebook group also posts updates regarding protests across the country, as well as resources you can use to stay up to date. On social media, you can follow Unist’ot’en and Wet’suwet’en Strong on Facebook and Gidimt’en on Twitter. The toolkit also has a leaflet and zine you can print and distribute as well as a newsletter you can sign up for.
You can also put your money — and attention — where your mouth is. Consider donating to the Unist’ot’en camp and Unist’ot’en legal fund. According to the Unist’ot’en website, money sent to the camp “ensures that supporters on the land have food and medical supplies, that Unist’ot’en Youth are able to visit their territories, that Wet’suwet’en Elders have the necessary materials on the land to teach traditional hunting, gathering, food processing, language skills, songs, stories and more.” If you’re interested in organizing a solidarity fundraiser of your own, check out the fundraiser protocols available on the site.
To stay informed, follow news organizations that uplift Indigenous voices, such as APTN News, and to buy from businesses that are created by Indigenous people and support Indigenous communities (Satya Organic Skin Care and Spirit Works are some good examples). Conversely, while it might be impossible to boycott fossil fuels completely (either due to mobility or other issues), you can pull your money from companies in support of projects that remove Indigenous people from their land. This can include putting your money into a credit union as opposed to a larger bank, or simply reducing the amount of fossil fuels you use and, ergo, the money you pay for them.