15 Pages

The indigenous climate justice of the Unist’ot’en resistance

WithSam Bliss, Leah Temper

Western Canada holds vast energy resources in Alberta's tar sands and the shale gas formations in north-eastern British Columbia (BC). The Unist'ot'en Clan of the Wet'suwet'en Nation has built a blockade on their ancestral land, living in an intentional community right in the route of the planned pipelines. The Unist'ot'en had expressed their will to prevent all pipelines in 2007, when industry first began studying the possibility of building the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). The Unist'ot'en camp has held weeklong action camps each summer since 2010 for activists to connect, share knowledge, and teach each other non-violent resistance tactics. This chapter describes some elements of the politics and economic practices in the camp. The Unist'ot'en do not fight only to protect their own land and water from contamination, but against the expansion of the fossil fuel industry on behalf of all earth's interconnected ecosystems and the climate system they rely on.