KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Once it became apparent that RCMP were instructed to use lethal force against Wet’suwet’en land protectors, the hereditary chiefs evicted CGL workers from the land and asked for solidarity actions across the country as they anticipate another RCMP raid on their lands.
See also: Elizabeth Goodridge: Lethal force revelations nothing new for Indigenous activists in Mi’kma’ki and Labrador
One such solidarity action took place in Halifax early this afternoon as a flash mob gathered at the Halifax Shopping Centre for prayers, songs, drumming and a round dance in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people of British Columbia.
Water protector and grandmother Dorene Bernard led the group in prayer.
“We are here in support of our brothers and sisters in Wet’suwt’en and Unist’ot’en who are going through similar things that we are facing here, protecting our land and our water, our rights as Indigenous people, and our title to the land that was never surrendered,” Bernard said.
“I would like to say a quick prayer to ground us. To give thanks in this season of midwinter Apuknajit and to offer our thanks to the mid-winter spirit, to all that was provided, and to guide us.
“To protect the people who are standing out in the cold on the front line who are at risk of corporate and police violence, to walk with them, to protect them, to bring the help that they need to protect the land, the water, and all the life that they stand for.
“We see indigenous people in all the territories across the world protecting the sacred, the land, the water, their families.
“I just want to say that our prayers go out to them. We are all in this struggle together everywhere, especially those that are suffering from the fires, the floods, as well as all these climate disasters that are happening around the world, people are waking up, Mother Earth is waking up.
“The elders say our Mother Earth is hurting, she needs our prayers, but she also needs our actions.”
Elder Billie Lewis spoke about the vital importance of sovereignty.
“Sovereignty has been a key part of everyone’s struggle, from Oka to other struggles over the years. When dealing with Indigenous issues we are dealing as a people and the recognition of a people’s sovereignty is important, we are dealing Nation to Nation, and that doesn’t mean band council to band council, that’s Nation to Nation.”
The group made their way through the mall, ending up at a branch of the RBC. The Royal Bank is heavily invested in the CoastalGasLink project.
Supporters were asked to take their money out of RBC.
“When you are dealing with these corporations it is a constitutional fight,” said Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman. “These corporations who are in conflict with our treaties and who are trying to erase those treaties are trying to make new environmental laws to bully their way onto our lands. As grandmothers we are told to stand up to them.”
See also: “We all have the same fight”: Halifax rally highlights solidarity from Mi’kma’ki to Wet’suwet’en Territory
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