Protestors in the UK have thrown their weight behind the plight of Indigenous peoples in Canada who are under threat of losing their land to the development of oil pipelines.

Young Indigenous people recently occupied the office of Winnipeg-based Liberal MP Dan Vandal’s office to call on the Canadian government to take action against the proposed Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline on the lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation in British Columbia.

The young activists, acting in solidarity with Indigenous peoples, ended their 11-day demonstration on 17 February and, a week earlier, UK activists took part in peaceful solidarity demonstrations in London at Canada House and the offices of KKR & Co., an investment firm with 65% equity in the pipeline project.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs issued an eviction notice to CGL in 2010 which has been ignored.

As the young protesters ended their demonstration, CGL representatives batted down chiefs’ alternative proposals for a pipeline route as ‘unfeasible’, arguing that the final route had been chosen after ‘years of study’.

Royal Canadian Mounted
Police have now started arresting Wet’suwet’en people who take action to steward and protect their land from pipeline development, enforcing a court order approved in January.

UK-based protestors said in a statement: ‘The rights of the environment and natural world are inextricably linked to human and Indigenous rights. Climate justice demands…that Indigenous sovereignty is respected as it deserves.’


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