AKWESASNE – The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) has released a statement of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in B.C.
The Wet’suwet’en are currently protesting and blocking the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, an oil pipeline that would pass through their territory.
There have been solidarity protests across the country, including by the Mohawks of the Tyendinaga territory near Belleville, ON, who have blocked CN and VIA train traffic between Toronto and Montreal.
Last Friday, Feb. 7, the Mohawks of Akwesasne held a brief protest on the Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall, blocking traffic onto Cornwall Island.
In a statement sent to media late Wednesday, Feb. 12, the MCA state that they support the actions of the Wet’suwet’en.
“The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is standing in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and Unist’ot’en Camp supporters in their efforts to protect their traditional land from the unwanted development of a gas pipeline,” the statement reads. “We call on Canada to exercise peaceful negotiations and to utilize their vast resources to explore resolutions and alternatives that will respect the Indigenous People of this land, will honour our inherent rights, and will recognize and uphold our duty as Onkwehonwe (Indigenous) people to protect Mother Earth and the precious land we have very little of.”
The MCA stated that they condemned any action of violence and hoped to see this matter resolved peacefully.
In their statement they called on the RCMP and the government of Canada to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard,” the declaration states.