A group of protesters on the sidewalk hold up a banner stating "Hands Of Wet'suwet'en" and featuring a red hand print in the middle of the text.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Wet’suwet’en Nation hearing at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

MEDIA ADVISORY: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to consider Canada’s, B.C’s attacks on Wet’suwet’en Nation

What: Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation will bring their campaign to defend their land, waters, and rights to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in a virtual hearing set for July 10. In their 20-minute oral testimony, representatives from the Nation will shine a light on the ongoing unjust criminalization and harassment of land defenders opposing the construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory. The Canadian government will respond to the testimony of the Wet’suwet’en delegation, which will focus on the continuing attacks on the Nation’s rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consent to resource-extraction projects affecting their territory, as upheld in the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Where: Online, free to stream on IACHR’s Facebook and Twitter channels

When: Monday, July 10, 2023, 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT

Who: The list of speakers includes (subject to change):

  • Chief Na’moks, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs
  • Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), Wing Chief of the Cas Yikh House (Grizzly Bear House), Gidimt’en Clan, Wet’suwet’en Nation

Why: In a series of raids on Wet’suwet’en territory since early 2019, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have unjustly arrested and detained more than 80 people, including land defenders, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and matriarchs, legal observers, and members of the media. During these offensives, the Wet’suwet’en Nation reported that RCMP forces, armed with military-style assault weapons, helicopters, and dog units, operated alongside Coastal GasLink and its private-security company to bulldoze and burn down buildings and desecrate ceremonial spaces. In addition, more than a dozen land defenders still face charges for exercising their right to defend Wet’suwet’en’s unceded traditional territory according to Wet’suwet’en law. The Nation has called for the charges to be dropped and for pipeline construction on Wet’suwet’en territory to halt until the Nation gives its free, prior and informed consent to the project.  

Media contacts:

  • Cory Ruf, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canadian Section (English-Section), media@amnesty.ca, 647-269-1795
  • Alissa Scholl, Conseillère aux communications et aux relations publiques, Amnistie internationale Canada francophone, ascholl@amnistie.ca, +1-514-766 9766 ext. 5236

Header photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images