Solidarity Fundraiser Protocols
In addition to physically being on the land, support from afar is also needed year-round to sustain the Unist’ot’en. With recent events, help is needed for fundraising for legal expenses. There has been an overwhelming amount of support coming towards the Wet’suwet’en recently, all is very appreciated.
One way to support is hosting fundraisers!
You must follow guidelines and protocols for organizing fundraisers to benefit the Unist’ot’en Camp/ Wet’suwet’en:
- Use the speaking points outlined on official Wet’suwet’en Press Releases and guides, like this Supporter Toolkit. Do not insert your own or your group’s narrative into the Wet’suwet’en story
- Gain consent first – if you have an idea for a fundraiser, click here to submit it for approval from leadership before you’ve begun advertising and any binding arrangements
- Do not use funds raised for personal gain or to supplement your income (yes, even if you worked really hard on it!). Do not advertise events as Unist’ot’en or Wet’suwet’en benefits unless 100% of funds raised are donated.
- When possible, source donated venues/volunteers/materials or pay upfront costs, rather than fundraising for these things if the costs are going to be high. It is often far more beneficial to the camp to simply donate the money you would have raised to spend on your event space.
- When overhead costs are unavoidable and will yield greater funds raised than cost free events, ensure that upfront investment will only make up one quarter or less of the projected funds raised. You might consider estimating the return with social media events pages that indicate the attendance and/or event ticket pre-sales.
- The best places to donate the money you raised are directly through fundraiser sites: DONATE page and Unistot’en Legal Fund. This ensures the money gets there the quickest and most secure way.
- Ideally have a contact who is familiar and trusted by the camp hosts (e.g. known ally or supporter, Wet’suwet’en Member) responsible for ensuring the funds raised are in fact donated via the above fundraiser sites. Be prepared to share this person’s contact information and details of how they are connected when making the request. Also share when the donation will be made and in whose name. Unfortunately some opportunists have used our struggle and kept the funds raised. These details help us follow up and encourage accountability and integrity.
- Close the loop, post-event and communicate to camp hosts the amount of funds raised and when they are deposited. For large fundraisers, please send along a photo of the solidarity efforts, noting if they can be posted on our website or social media (make sure you have consent). We love to see our allies!
- The Unist’ot’en are not a non-profit or NGO, so your donations will not be tax-deductible.
- We encourage the involvement of local territory holders to open/approve the event on their territory, or at minimum, an acknowledgement of whose traditional territory the work is being conducted on.
- If this is a joint event in which funds are to be split with another Wet’suwet’en group, ensure proper consent from all parties. Refer to allied pages like Gidumt’en Access Point and go through the authorized fundraising site here.
- Please also read our Resources on Allyship and Solidarity
Thank you for helping to decolonize/support indigenous sovereignty, and correcting resource imbalances!
Ways to Fundraise
Over the years, supporters have:
- Hosted the Unist’ot’en for speaking engagements at colleges and community centers. Videoconferencing is preferred to minimize the carbon footprint and travel costs, as well as minimize the absence of our spokespeople or house members on the frontlines. We may consider in-person events if costs are covered, it is a high-yielding event (or cluster of events), and adequate coverage on the territory can be arranged.
- Held benefit concerts, parties, and art shows with funds going to the camp
- Hosted community fundraiser dinners and film screenings of documentaries made at the camp
- Provided their home communities with presentations about the camp after visiting
- Connected the camp hosts with major news outlets to broadcast their campaigns, or created their own documentaries
- Set up fundraising challenges with prizes to promote the campaigns – such as free tattoos, handmade jewelry, gift cards, and other gifts
- Subscribed and shared posts from the Unist’ot’en Facebook, Youtube, and other social media.
- Tabled at events with fundraiser forms pulled up on a tablet for visitors to easily sign up
Can you do something from this list? Or do you have a creative idea of your own that will support the Unist’ot’en Camp? Get in touch with the camp hosts to get their consent and input on your solidarity event! (Due to the heavy volume of requests and messages the hosts receive, response may be delayed – please allow for at minimum a week’s time for a response. Events should be planned with more than a week of lead time). Click here for more ways to support the Unist’ot’en.