Wet'suwet'en Reading List
By Bruce McIvor
With so much media coverage of the Wet'suwet'en standoff prior to COVID-19, we thought it would be helpful to collect various articles, blog posts, interviews, case comments, and other resources in one location. We hope it will be a useful tool for anyone wanting to learn more about the situation in Wet'suwet'en territory and Indigenous Peoples’ ongoing struggle for justice in Canada.
It is not a comprehensive list. We would welcome any feedback or recommendations. Happy reading!
Here is our four-part Wet'suwet'en series.
- Reconciliation at the End of a Gun: The Wet’suwet’en and the RCMP | First Peoples Law
- The Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer | First Peoples Law
- The Wet’suwet’en, Governments and Indigenous Peoples: A 5 Step Plan for Reconciliation | First Peoples Law (French translation available here)
- #WetsuwetenStrong in the Wake of COVID-19 | First Peoples Law
Here is a previous article of mine published last year following the RCMP raid at Gidimt’en.
- Why Canadian Law Should be on the Side of the Wet’suwet’en in the Pipeline Confrontation | First Peoples Law
Lawyers and legal scholars across the country have called on governments to uphold Indigenous rights and open a nation-to-nation dialogue with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
- Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan Re: Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ Opposition to Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project | First Peoples Law
- Settler governments are breaking international law, not Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, say 200 lawyers, legal scholars - The Star
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada has published a legal brief on Canada’s failure to abide by international legal obligations and its own rule of law.
- Canada: International law obligations to suspend construction of pipeline and stop use of force against Wet’suwet’en | Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
My colleague Kate Gunn and I were interviewed by various media outlets about the legal context surrounding the standoff.
- First Nations legal expert says its time for the federal government to get more involved in Wet'suwet'en blockades | CBC Listen
- Whose rule of law? Indigenous law part of Canadian legal system, says lawyer - Energi Media
- Power Play: Indigenous land rights - CTV News
- Understanding the Wet'suwet'en struggle in Canada - Aljazeera
- Growing support for Wet’suwet’en land defenders shakes Canadian politics - Nation News
- Ottawa’s offer to recognize Wet’suwet’en land rights could be a game-changer for Canada. Here’s how - The Star
- How the B.C. government approached Indigenous land rights after major court ruling - The Star
- B.C.’s John Horgan faces a Wet’suwet’en firestorm sparked by some very national issues - The Star
- Wet’suwet’en Crisis: Whose Rule of Law? | The Tyee
- How a landmark B.C. court case set the stage for Wet'suwet'en anti-pipeline protests | CBC News
Here is an excellent “Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit” with lots of great resources for anyone looking to show their solidarity.
Here is the most recent injunction decision issued by the BC Supreme Court, along with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ response and some helpful analysis of injunction law more generally.
- Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. v. Huson, 2019 BCSC 2264
- Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Reject the BC Supreme Court Decision to Criminalize Wet’suwet’en Law - Unist'ot'en Camp
- Injunctions by First Nations: Results of a National Study - Yellowhead Institute
- Legal experts say injunctions not effective in Indigenous-led land disputes - National Post
- Injunctions have only served to prove the point: Canada is a smash-and-grab country for industry - Globe and Mail
Here is some legal analysis of the relationship between Indigenous and Canadian law at the centre of the standoff.
- The invisible thread? The Coastal GasLink decision and why we must do more to recognize the application of Indigenous law - West Coast Environmental Law
- Colonialism is Alive and Well in Canada – Slaw
- Coastal GasLink dispute rooted in conflicts over title, governance: legal experts - The Lawyer's Daily
- Indigenous law experts weigh in on the Wet'suwet'en protests - Canadian Lawyer Magazine
Check out these pieces on the legal history of Aboriginal title and Wet’suwet’en law.
- The Delgamuukw decision: When the ‘invisible people’ won recognition - APTN News
- ‘We Have to Stand Together’: A Tale of Two Nations | The Tyee
- Industry, government pushed to abolish Aboriginal title at issue in Wet’suwet’en stand-off, docs reveal | The Narwhal
Here is a summary of new and ongoing litigation.
- Stand Strong for Wet'suwet'en Yintah - RAVEN
- Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs launch court challenge to CGL Environmental Approval - Office of the Wet'suwet'en
- Unist’ot’en Files Legal Action Against Coastal GasLink Archaeological Plan - Unist'ot'en Camp
- B.C. failed to consider links between ‘man camps,’ violence against Indigenous women, Wet’suwet’en argue | The Narwhal
There is no shortage of insightful commentary on the “rule of law" invoked during this standoff.
- The rule of law is ‘racist’ says Mohawk law professor Beverly Jacobs - APTN News
- Hiding Behind the Myth of One ‘Rule of Law’ | The Tyee
- The breathtaking hypocrisy of the howls for “rule of law” - Policy Options
- Pipeline protests and the rule of law - Vancouver Sun
- What is happening on Wet’suwet’en territory shows us that reconciliation is dead - Globe and Mail
- What's really illegal? The defence of unceded Wet'suwet'en territory or provincial permits for Coastal GasLink pipeline? - Georgia Straight
- 'Reconciliation cannot be achieved at gunpoint': B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip on Wet'suwet'en stand-off | CBC Radio
- How the Wet’suwet’en crisis could have played out differently | The Narwhal
Check out these podcast interviews on Wet’suwet’en law and Indigenous resistance.
- #WetsuwetenStrong w/ Karla Tait - The Red Nation
- Molly Wickham on Gitdimt'en Yintah Access - Warrior Life
Here are two publications on Wet’suwet’en law and governance.
- Eagle Down Is Our Law - Witsuwit'en Law, Feasts, and Land Claims - Antonia Mills
- Niwhts'ide'nı̈ hibi'it'ën = The ways of our ancestors: Witsuwit'en history & culture throughout the millennia - Mélanie Morin
Lastly, these are both powerful photo essays from the frontlines.
- In photos: Wet’suwet’en matriarchs arrested as RCMP enforce Coastal GasLink pipeline injunction | The Narwhal
- Photos: Singing in Defiance of Arrest at the Last Wet’suwet’en Post | The Tyee
Photo by Jeff Nicholls [Tsimshian]
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law where he teaches the constitutional law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Bruce is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history and is a Fulbright Scholar. A member of the bar in British Columbia and Ontario, Bruce is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada.
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