VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, B.C. Greens spokesperson for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, released the following statement in response to the protests unfolding in the Wet’suwet’en territory.
“I’m tired of watching RCMP officers arresting Indigenous people who are protesting a project they feel puts their homeland at risk.
“The situation in the Wet’suwet’en territory and the Unist’ot’en camp has been ongoing since 2010. Frankly, there is no excuse for this current confrontation to end in arrests. It should have been resolved peacefully through respectful negotiation. This is another example of the abject failure of the status quo approach of governments to Indigenous relations in British Columbia.
“The B.C. Greens fully support the right of every British Columbian to protest peacefully.
“The only pathway to end these standoffs is to embrace and implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into B.C.’s legal framework. Our caucus believes that we need new legislation introduced as soon as possible so that we can take concrete steps towards true reconciliation based on meaningful collaboration. That is why we made the implementation of UNDRIP a key part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the NDP and why we continue to work with government and First Nations on its introduction.
“We have a responsibility to embrace this challenge. We cannot keep talking about the rights of Indigenous peoples without doing the hard work of changing the systems and laws that currently exist.”
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