B.C. RCMP claims it has "no intention" of moving against Unist'ot'en camp

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      Late Friday (August 28), the B.C. RCMP issued a statement denying it plans to move against a First Nations camp that stands in the path of oil and natural gas pipelines proposed to traverse the province.

      As previously reported by the Straight, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) sent a letter to the RCMP warning against “an impending, and possibly large-scale, RCMP action in relation to the Unist'ot'en camp”. That followed the publication of a similar letter signed by a long list of organizations that range from environmentalists to civil-liberties advocates that’s titled, “We Stand with the Unist’ot’en”.

      In the wake of those developments, rumours swirled about an imminent RCMP action against the camp, which is a settlement that some members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation began constructing in northwestern B.C. in 2010.

      Here's the August 28 RCMP press release in full:

      There have been numerous media reports and discussions online that do not accurately reflect the RCMP’s action or the situation that is occurring near Houston, BC regarding the ongoing dispute over access to the Unist’ot’en territory.

      The BC RCMP respects the rights of individuals to peacefully protest says Cpl. Janelle Shoihet, on behalf of North District RCMP. To clarify, the BC RCMP has no intention of ‘taking down the camp’ set up by the Unist’ot’en. We value the Wet’suwet’en culture, the connection to the land and traditions being taught and passed on at the camp, and the importance of the camp to healing.

      Despite what is being portrayed by some media and on social media, the BC RCMP would like to emphasize that we remain impartial in this dispute. We understand that there has recently been progress made and we are very pleased with these developments. Our Aboriginal Policing Members continue to remain in contact directly with the Unist’ot’en and we will continue to assist in any way we can.

      A video posted on Vimeo shows how tensions between Unist'ot'en camp members and RCMP officers have intensified in recent months.





      Aug 28, 2015 at 6:35pm

      "‘taking down the camp’" says the carefully worded statement. Arresting everyone there and then looking the other way as the oil company's 'security' people burn it down would not technically be ‘taking down the camp’

      Am I too cynical? Or too experienced?


      Aug 28, 2015 at 8:23pm

      The RCMP have an over a 100 year history of not being impartial when it comes to enforcing Federal or Provincial demands for eliminating Aboriginal Rights.
      I doubt there's a single First Nations, Inuit or Metis Nation that requested that the RCMP move in as the non-bias arbitrator to settle whatever their disputes/challenges are be they Local, Distict, Provincial, Federal or International.
      The fact is in BC and other Provinces/ Territories when Treaties were or were not signed the White/Colonial rulers were hoping that Aboriginal Peoples would die off in enough numbers to make them insignificant today.
      It was a member of the Robertson Clan attached to the Selkirk Settlers that came up with the idea to distribute small-pox infected blankets to First Nations Peoples. While thousands died their Spirit was not extinquished, we should all be thankfull for the resilience and dedication.
      Taking down the protest could be a rallying cause Canada-wide, then what.


      Aug 28, 2015 at 10:52pm

      The RCMP will say anything that advances their agenda, including lying. Do not let your guard down. Remember Gustasfen Lake.

      Wayne Froese

      Aug 29, 2015 at 1:20am

      "The BC RCMP respects the rights of individuals to peacefully protest" said Cpl. Janelle Shoihet, on behalf of North District RCMP in the release."

      It's NOT a protest. It's Unist'ot'en territory, and they're upholding their right to protect it.
      RCMP attempting to reframe the issue, to justify police action where they don't have jurisdiction. Action that's not just rumour - Grand Chief Stewart Phillip confirmed a build-up of RMCP presence at area hotels, and Unist'ot'en residents sighted RCMP encampments nearby.



      Aug 29, 2015 at 9:27am

      Yeah, RCMP, wait till AFTER Harper has won the election..!

      shakeer bronson

      Aug 29, 2015 at 4:53pm

      Well the so-called authorities have to show power,as in the massive a.madison hack for p.r; forgtting the nsa hacks were declared illegel.


      Aug 29, 2015 at 11:55pm

      I don't think people realize the situation here; or they have no problem with small groups of unelected people blockading roads. Like, if you want to talk aboriginal custom, my family never blockaded anything, we believed in "live and let live." If someone wants to pass through the land (not your land, the land belongs to all in common), then you let them pass through. This whole idea of tollbooths and roadblocks smacks of having adopted the oppressive tactics of their oppressors.

      But then, my family was nomadic, and we integrated as soon as possible rather than holding on to dead traditions for their own sake. Gosh, I sure do wish the women in my family could enjoy the traditional aboriginal custom whereby babies with heart valve defects die---and I am sure any baby born to anyone in camp with a heart valve defect will be treated quickly, free of charge. If you want the gravy, you sometimes gotta take one for the team, the team providing you with free open heart surgery for your babies.