January 23, 2019: Yesterday Coastal GasLink contractors drove a bulldozer through the heart of one of our traplines. Trapping is part of our healing center programming; we return to the land to heal from the trauma of colonization. Damage to the trapline represents a direct attack on our healing center and the wellness of our Wet’suwet’en people.
We have notified CGL workers that it is a violation of the Wildlife Act to interfere with lawful trapping. CGL claimed to be conducting preliminary survey work and did not send advance notice of bulldozing or clearing. We were notified in June that parts of our trapline may be affected in August 2020. Two traps along the trapline are unaccounted for and may have been destroyed. CGL continues to disrespect our yintah, our culture, our people, and our traditional practices.
#WetsuwetenStrong #Unistoten #NoTrespass #WedzinKwa
[A bulldozer working for TransCanada destroyed a Wet’suwet’en trapline.]
“Well, they bulldozed right through our trapline. …Yeah that’ll work.”
[Text on sign reads: Notice: It is an offense under Section 46 of the Wildlife Act to interfere with a lawfully set trap or with trapline infrastructure. This trapline # TR0609T023 is registered to Warner William. If you wish to use or alter any part of this trapline or the trap buildings, please Knedebeas (Warner William) at _ _ _ _ or _ _ _ firstname.lastname@example.org as well as the regional wildlife manager to begin the dispute process as per Section 45 of the Wildlife Act.]
“Right now we’re standing on a trapline of the Unist’ot’en that just got plowed through by either CGL or one of their workers. The whole plough has just trampled on our trail right here; and we can’t account for two more traps, so we’re not sure what’s happened to them.
Our trail came through this grade line. There’s one trap here, one trap over there, and one trap right there.
Going out trapping is like a form of healing cause it takes out people out on the territory, and it gives them the opportunity to do the same thing their ancestors did.
It felt really good doing something that my grandpa has taught me, and my uncles. Being on the trapline is really healthy for our people, not just me.
It’s devastating, it’s like, not good at all. We just pulled a marten out a few days ago, and then came here to see this… and… it’s aggravating, it pisses me off.
Y’know, we try so hard to reclaim what Canada has taken from us, and it’s just not… what we want to happen… is this destruction like this.
On the trapline is where we become what our people were before we were taken into residential schools and the reserve system. This is what we’re supposed to be. And then this happens. This same thing that has always happened. I’m angry.”
[It is illegal to interfere with lawfully set traps. The Unist’ot’en have traps throughout their territory.]