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The Unist’ot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern BC, Canada. The camp stands serves a checkpoint to keep out industry that has not been given consent to come onto the territory (e.g., workers for the Pacific Trail and Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines). For more information, check out their website and Facebook page.

This page is run by camp supporters in the Lower Mainland. Please “Like” our Facebook page and share our posts and updates with others!

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The camp hosts have asked us to facilitate visitors getting up to the camp. If you are planning to visit, please sign up.


Keywords: Unistoten, Unis’toten, Unis’to’ten Camp, Summer Action Camp, Unis’to’ten Blockade, sign up for Unist’ot’en Camp, WildCoast, Caravan, Caravan to Unis’to’ten, No Pipelines, No Enbridge, Pipeline Resistance, Direct Action

Summer 2016, Unist’ot’en Camp – The Calm Before the Storm

Bob Ages – Ladner BC

After helping with all the USB activity in support of Spring Work Camp, Action Camp and the Youth Art Camp I was finally able to get up to the Yintah* myself in late August for a brief visit. As always it was literally a breath of fresh air to get away from the hubbub of organizing in the city and reconnect with the land.

The trip up with a friend and a truck load of food supplies went smoothly and with a lot of laughs. She thought it was cute when I checked the route of a little side trip on an actual folding paper map – she of course had a smart phone with Google maps. But then I’m from the “two cans on a string” generation.

Was great to see old friends and hear about how the spring and summer activities went. Of course the big development this year is the near completion of the second stage of the Healing Centre. It is looking great and everyone is looking forward to getting the interior work completed.

Another highlight of the summer was the work on the bunkhouse mural; the finishing touches were just being completed. It is absolutely gorgeous thanks to Toghestiy’s artistry. Was good to see the permaculture garden bursting with the last produce of the season and the pit-house roof completed and already sprouting with native vegetation – as Wet’suwet’en homes did before colonization and dispossession.

The relaxed atmosphere at the camp this summer felt a little strange after last year’s high alert. It had been a little tense at the end of August 2015 doing bridge duty in the dark hours before sunrise while the RCMP Emergency Response Team waited just two hours away in Smithers for the signal to move in with their armoured vehicles and automatic weapons. A signal that never came due to the quick and massive outpouring of support and solidarity all across Turtle Island and  beyond.

This year after another quiet day doing routine chores and a little carpentry a fresh volunteer woke me up at 4 am, alarmed by the passage of a logging truck. I explained that the clan has an agreement to allow logging of a cut block on the territory – part of their strategy to maintain good relations with the forestry contractors and workers who are their neighbours and importantly to demonstrate they are not “blockading” but rather continuing to exercise their historic stewardship of the land, determining who may – and who may not – access the Yintah.

But this year is probably the calm in the eye of a hurricane. We’ve all heard about the uncertainty around investment decisions regarding the pipelines and the fracked gas industry in general. Perhaps it is just a matter of time before this fantasy of riches and jobs from LNG collapses. But our information is that like cornered rats the companies are getting desperate, even more determined to demonstrate their viability to investors by getting construction underway. And there is a provincial election in 2017 where the lack of progress on Christy Clark’s grand vision of a fracked future may be highlighted. So our advice to supporters is to gear up and make plans to be at the camp for as long as you can spare next year. Skip a semester from school, book some extended vacation time from work, or otherwise free yourself up for a good long spell on the front line.

The day before heading home to the Lower Mainland I was honoured to be able to help Freda fulfill the  promise she made to her dad before he passed a year ago; to fix the fence around her parent’s house in Moricetown for her mom. It was a long tough work day for an old fart like me but there was a great crew and it got done just before it turned too dark to see where to hit a nail.

To end this report  thought I’d relate a funny story from the late night drive we took from camp to Moricetown so we could get an early start on that fence. We were pulled over by a female RCMP officer for speeding. Got off with a warning and reminder that section of highway has speed limit of 90 kmh, not 100. Toghestiy commented afterwards it was a perfect example of white privilege, good reason to always have the old white guy driving the truck, not the “NDN’s”. I had to disagree. I’m sure it was my charm and good looks. Lol

* Yintah is a Wet’suwet’en word that describes the land, air, water and all beings. It can also be translated as “Mother Earth”. It also contains within it an awareness of the relationships, values and respect inherent in Indigenous protocol and laws.

Action Camp 2016 Winds Up

Action Camp 2016

This year´s 7th Annual Action Camp was well received by some incredible and compassionate human beings. There were many profound workshops on Indigenous Land Defender Self-Care, Settler Solidarity, Anonymity and Safety in Cyber Space, Green House Design, and much more. A strategic action plan is now in the works to help us counter the misleading multi-Billion dollar propaganda that government, industry, and pro-industry forces employ.

We may be a grassroots led movement but we are formidable and unstoppable. It is people like you who make this possible. If we believe-in and project a message from the onset that, ¨There Will Be NO Pipelines¨ we know without a doubt that we will manifest that statement. There is no soft language in our message. Our conviction is backed up by thousands and thousands of years of ancestral wisdom and power. They stand behind us; they bless us.

Thank you to all of the wonderful people who came to this year´s camp, the organizers from the Unistoten Solidarity Brigade, and to all of the supporters and allies, like you, who are living a life that your children will respect and honour.

Action Camp is Almost Here

The Camp is getting ready to welcome people to this summer’s Action Camp – just a week away. Here in the south the volunteers of the Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade have been busy interviewing new visitors and arranging ride-sharing for both new and returning supporters. If you are thinking of heading up but haven’t registered yet it’s not too late.

Just heard from a good friend at the Camp that the weather is a little challenging so be prepared if you are heading up soon. A fair amount of rain, then as hot as 34 C when the sun comes out. Then cool at night and first thing in the morning. Unistoten Action

 

Call Out for Action Camp Workshop Presenters

July 13-17, 2016

The theme this year is: Strategizing to reach more people in educating about climate change and impacts to all

– From messaging via various mediums
– Fundraising campaigns that work

If you have knowledge you want to share send a bio and information on your workshop to Freda
fhuson@gmail.com

Unist’ot’en Youth Art Camp

If you know Indigenous Youth who are talented budding Artists check this out! We have a 2 week camp coming up which will bring together notable Northwest Coast Artists (for a 50 foot and 20 foot wall mural, Interpretive Signs, Replica Bentwood boxes…). There will also be Gifted Psychiatrists & Counselors specializing in Youth Mental Wellness, Wonderful Wet’suwet’en Language Teachers, Talented Western Artists, Visionary Documentary Film Makers (Filming and Editing), Creative Crafts People, and Amazing Comic Designers.

This is a great opportunity for young Indigenous people to practice their skills, learn about our culture and meet like-minded people . The availability of spaces may soon be limited so get organizing and register yourselves or the Youth in your community now!

Art Camp poster 2016

“My Bad” and the issue of Sincere Accountabilty

Many people make mistakes. Things often get broken; Things often get lost; Things often get ruined. People who depend on those things often have to go without these things until a replacement is found. Sometimes these things seem trivial, like a 10 mm socket wrench forgotten at a worksite, or a busted handle on a BBQ lid. However sometimes these things are critical such as a vehicle engine that’s blown because someone forgot to top up the oil, or a broken window latch for a window during the coldest months of the year. Either way it’s understandable when mistakes happen.
Where things go bad is when something happens and nothing is said. The person(s) may decide it’s better to calmly walk away and pretend nothing happened. Often it’s fear that motivates one to avoid fessing up to their mistake. The fear of loosing someone’s trust is a powerful force.
Sometimes people mangle something beyond repair and may phone the owner or FB message them with a minimalist projection of the actual situation. They may hope to be gone from the scene of the incident before the owner gets back or they may sit and await and weather the storm when the owner returns.
Sometimes things are lost, broken, or ruined and the person(s) responsible may decide to just not say anything until the safety leave locale where this occurred. The owner might not notice that something is wrong until the actually need the object that was lost/broken/ruined.
None of these situations are alright. The problem is not the object, it is the accountability for those responsible. A far too common phrase used by many today us the term “MY BAD”. The term “My Bad” assumes some responsibility but it negates accountability. This is not cool. It’s not cool at all.
It is an old fashioned practice that my late father taught to me to own up to a mistake right away. Own up to a mistake and ask if there is a way for you to help remedy the situation so that trust is maintained and nurtured. This practice embeds a high level of respect and accountability. It teaches us to exercise humility and care. These are qualities which we can all benefit from.
So next time, and there will be many next times, own up to what happened right away and never use the term “My Bad”.

Healing Centre Stage 2 – Some Assembly Required

Lumber for Healing Centre Stage 2

Healing Centre Stage 2 – Some Assembly Required

Excitement is growing as Spring Work Camp 2016 is about to get underway. Some of the construction crew have already arrived and more are on the way. A friend and long-time Camp supporter sent us this picture after delivering and unloading the lumber yard order.

In addition to erecting what will be the central space for Healing Centre programs, including counselling and meeting rooms volunteer crews will work to finish Freda and Toghestiy’s pithouse and complete the renovation of the big root cellar. People will also be busy in the permaculture garden – which over the past couple of years has grown into what could almost be called a small farm.