As a sovereign nation, the Wet’suwet’en have the right to live in balance with their lands and waters and have a responsibility to defend their culture, language, and lifeways.
In 1985, we exercised our right and responsibility to protect Haida territory at Athlii Gwaay Lyell Island. At the time, our nation received support from allies and friends around the world. Their words, prayers, and acts of solidarity strengthened our stand and helped to protect this cherished place. Today, the Wet’suwet’en are exercising their jurisdiction in the same way.
The Wet’suwet’en are living on their lands and upholding ancestral laws to protect their territory for future generations. As a nation, we are allies in this commitment to defend our lands and waters. The proposed Coastal GasLink project could result in LNG tankers travelling through Haida territorial waters. Their stand is our stand, and together we have great strength.
The Government of Canada has joined the international community in adopting the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). UNDRIP recognizes that Indigenous peoples have the right to free, prior and informed consent regarding any project that affects their lands, territories or resources.
The Haida Nation calls upon the Canadian Government to uphold its commitment to Indigenous peoples, reconciliation, and UNDRIP by meaningfully recognizing and respecting Wet’suwet’en authority to make decisions on projects that impact the wellbeing of their people and way of life.
Guudang ‘láa ad yahguudang dang.ad id kuuniisii,
With gratitude and respect to our ancestors,
Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation
10 January 2019,