Recent tensions concerning the Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. have been thoroughly discussed on social media, with solidarity protests happening all over the country—from Saskatechewan, to Ontario, to Quebec.
Reports from the CBC state that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enforced a court order against the Indigenous communities blocking construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline last Thursday. Camps were set up near the pipeline, including at the Unist’ot’en healing village, which was a Wet’suwet’en-operated checkpoint on the road in 2009, preventing people working on the pipeline from accessing the territory.
Media coverage of the ongoing issue has varied, with some publications learning from past mistakes and putting the work in to accurately reporting on a complex situation. Despite these steps, The Concordian can’t help but notice that this progress is taking far too long. As members of the media, we have a responsibility to not phone in stories on this topic.
Some still don’t even know about the issue, nor the history behind it if they haven’t stumbled upon vigils, protests, or if they aren’t following Instagram accounts addressing the recurring problem. Facebook instates a “Standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en” profile picture frame to get people involved, and encourage them to further educate themselves.
The RCMP is forcibly removing people trying to guard land they never ceded to begin with. Does this ring any bells for anyone? How can Canada, or more specifically, the Liberal Government, claim to be moving forward with Truth and Reconciliation when they are consistently participating in colonialism and land theft?
The media should be doing more to call attention to this. The Via Rail train cancellations are being covered thoroughly, but the reason for them? Not so much. The media is covering the inconvenience that protests are causing privileged individuals, but not adequately educating the public on why the protests are taking place.
Wet’suwet’en land is being stolen and used for something its custodians don’t believe in.
This has been happening across North America for centuries––but we’re supposed to be correcting those mistakes. We’re supposed to be righting those wrongs. Remaining silent in times like these upholds and reinforces centuries of colonialism.
We need to do better.