The Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Lethbridge recognizes that we sit in the original and enduring Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) territorial homelands. We acknowledge the role that western educational approaches and institutions have played in the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous peoples here and around the world. We affirm our commitment to using our knowledge and privilege to offer solidarity and support to the empowerment of all Indigenous people, communities, and environments that reside locally and globally.
In the spirit of that commitment, we, the undersigned faculty members, lend our voices to the chorus of those in support of the Wet’suwet’en people, their clan governance systems, and hereditary chiefs, while also condemning the actions of the Canadian government for violently interfering on this territory and with the bodies of those defending the land and its people.
These actions by the Canadian government and RCMP in favour of Coastal Gas Link’s proposed pipeline are in direct violation of the Supreme Court of Canada, in Delgamuukw & Gisday wa, rulings which upheld the fact that Aboriginal Rights to traditionally occupied, unceded lands in British Columbia have not been extinguished and that provincial laws cannot extinguish Aboriginal Rights. As such, these actions are also in direct violation of Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states: Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.
We call for the withdrawal of the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territory, and support the right of the Wet’suwet’en people to continue in their actions to protect the lands, waters, and futures of their people. We acknowledge they do this as well for all of us, and creation. We also call on other departments and institutions to join in condemning this state violence against Indigenous nations.
Inge Genee, Professor & Chair of Indigenous Studies
Michelle Hogue, Associate Professor, Coordinator, Indigenous Student Success Cohort
Paul McKenzie-Jones, Assistant Professor
Henrie Beaulieu, Assistant Professor
Conor Snoek, Assistant Professor