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LETTERS: Protesters defending the planet, resisting oppression

- Reuters

Defending the planet

In their protest against the Coastal GasLink pipeline, it is no small thing what the Wet’suwet’en Nation is doing for Canada and our planet: showing us the healthy way to care for our common home.

A legal observer with the Christian Peacemaker Teams in their northern B.C. territory reports being awestruck by the beauty of the area. When he asked for a drink of water, he was directed to the nearby Wedzin Kwa River. Initially hesitant to sip the water, he enjoyed a pristine and refreshing drink. This is a far cry from the hundreds of boil-water advisories in so many of Canada’s First Nation communities.

Terry OToole, Antigonish County

Resisting oppression

When Christopher Columbus first landed in the Caribbean in 1492, there were an estimated 8.5 million people living in that region. Some 50 years later, there were only about 400,000 people left in that region. Because the people living there did not accept the Catholic religion, his expeditions wiped out about eight million inhabitants by various cruel means.

In 1492, by some estimates, 60 million Indigenous people were living in what is now known as the Americas. In 1945, only 800,000 were left. The colonial settlers had exterminated about 60 million people in 453 years. There is no reason to believe that the situation was any different in what is now Canada. Indeed, in Newfoundland, the Beothuks were completely wiped out.

In British Columbia, the Wet’suwet’en people have been forced, without their consent, to accept a natural gas pipeline to be built by Coastal GasLink. The NDP government of B.C. has accepted the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guarantees the “free, prior, and informed consent” of Indigenous groups before projects are put across their land. But the NDP has pushed the pipeline on the Wet'suwet'en territory. The NDP is just as hypocritical as the Liberals, if not more so.

Indigenous people in Canada are fed up with colonial oppression and the loss of land and lives. They are standing up for their human rights. They should be compensated.

Dave Lowe, Berwick

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