Preparing for your Visit

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July 27, 2020: Due to the COVID19 pandemic, please note that there are additional protocols for supporters coming to Unist’ot’en yintah at this time. Thank you for your continued support!

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The camp is located on a forest road near Houston, BC, 1200 km (740 miles) north of Vancouver.

If you are driving, please see updated directions and road conditions.

What to Bring

(Updated August 2020) 

  • Sturdy shoes, work boots if you have them
  • Waterproof shoes (could be same as above)
  • Slippers or inside shoes (only if you will be inside the Healing Center)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants if you have them
  • Long light layers for top and bottom, to protect against sun and bugs
  • Two pairs work gloves
  • Blankets/Sleeping bag
  • Towel
  • Mat for sleeping on
  • Battery powered or wind up alarm clock
  • Tent and groundsheet
  • Headlamp/flashlight
  • Goggles/work glasses
  • Personal bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 2 layer fabric mask with filter x 4, n95 mask x 4, or surgical mask x 7
  • Food to share with the camp*
  • Prescription medications (bring the prescription)
  • Water bottle and Travel mug
  • Spare batteries/rechargeable batteries for your devices
  • Pen/journal
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Also welcome: Donations of cash, home preserves, tobacco, and other useful items (See our list on the Wishlist/Needslist page)

*Please note: If you have any dietary preferences/restrictions (for example Vegan) that require specialty ingredients, please bring these to camp to give to the cooks to use in your food prep, as these supplies are not stocked in the kitchen and/or included in food budget.

There is no cell service or WiFi on the yintah. Take care of things before you head up the logging road. Download music, change your voicemail, set auto-reply on your email accounts, etc. 

 

Guidelines for Behaviour

  • The Unist’ot’en make all the decisions on their land – visitors will NOT argue or refuse to abide by their decisions.
  • Please DO NOT come to the camp if you’re sick, have parasites, or have traveled by plane in the previous 14 days.
  • DO NOT bring drugs or alcohol of any kind, no cannabis/marijuana (for prescription pills you must bring the prescription)
  • DO NOT bring weapons of any kind.
  • Dogs (or any other pets) are NOT allowed to visit the camp.
  • Take everything you brought with you when you leave, and DO NOT take anything that is not yours.
  • DO NOT leave clothes, tents, and other non-essentials behind unless the camp hosts ask you to.
  • Public nudity is NOT permitted at any time.
  • NO physical contact of others without consent.
  • NO picking, harvesting, or removal of any plants without express permission/request of hosts.
  • NO taking photos/videos/audio recording without asking permission.
  • DO NOT discriminate. People of all races, religions, nationalities, classes, genders, orientations, gender identifications, etc. are welcome to support the grassroots Wet’suwet’en people in defending their land. The hosts expect all volunteers to respect diverse views and seek common ground amongst themselves rather than bringing in conflict.
  • It is strongly suggested that you read Resources for Allyship and Solidarity.

Conditions at the Camp

Unist'ot'en Camp Healing Center

A group of supporters works on construction of the Healing Center at the annual Spring Construction Camp.

Weather has been getting weirder and more changeable everywhere in the world as the climate changes – and north central British Columbia is no exception. There have been snow storms and thaws, nice crisp cold days and surprisingly mild ones.

A good idea before heading up is to check the current weather and forecast for Houston, the nearest town to the Camp. The Camp is at a higher elevation so adjust accordingly. It is often a little warmer in the day, and cooler at night than in Houston during the warmer months. In the winter expect cooler temperatures and more snow than in town.

What Will Happen During Your Visit?

***Updated August 2020: Due to the ongoing militarized invasion of the Unist’ot’en territory, some of this information changes weekly. These are the general guidelines. Follow updates here on the blog for current conditions. ***

At the entrance to the camp, at the bridge over Wedzin Kwah (Morice River), the hosts greet visitors with the Free, Prior, Informed Consent Protocol. Each person entering Unist’ot’en territory is asked where they are from, what they can offer to help the people defending their land, whether they have worked for resource extraction companies, and other questions.

In the summer months most volunteers camp out in tents on the land but there is now plenty of wood-heated indoor sleeping space for the winter. However, even in the warmer months nights can be quite chilly, especially when the sky is clear. Due to the current pandemic, visitors may not enter the Healing Centre or bunkhouse until they have been away from outsiders for 14 days. Please be prepared to sleep in a tent. 

Usually, volunteers take turns cooking group meals and washing up afterwards in the Healing Centre’s large indoor kitchen. Vegan and gluten-free options are available – please plan accordingly to bring your own specialty items if you require them. Due to COVID-19, designated camp cooks will be cooking all meals and meals will be eaten outside.

The camp has electricity from solar panels and a diesel back-up generator. They also have a satellite communication system for emergencies, but there is no wifi or cell phone access for visitors. Outhouses have been converted to the “composting type”. Due to the pandemic, there is no indoor access for visitors.  Usually, there is hot and cold running water in the bunkhouse and Healing Center for wash-up and showers and visitors are asked to use the hot water sparingly and make a contribution to the donation jar to cover the cost of the propane used by the water heater.  

During the pandemic, there will be an outdoor shower set up.  You are advised to bring a solar shower bag if you have one, as well as flip flops and biodegradable soap. 

This is an action camp. The Unist’ot’en people and their allies have set up a “checkpoint” on the forest service road to pipeline crews and those who don’t respect their protocol. This is not a public road and is not subject to laws of a public road. The camp is not breaking any laws, but there have been threats and violence committed by the RCMP on behalf of the oil and gas industry. The Camp remains in a state of high alert. Please be aware that the situation may change at any time.

Be prepared to support non-violent direct action to delay or prevent unauthorized entry to the territory.

No matter what the time of year there is always lots of work to be done. Priorities change with the seasons. Trapping, bucking and splitting wood for the stoves, cooking and cleaning are major activities in the winter in addition to maintaining the ongoing security of the Camp.

The hosts make all the decisions on their land. It is not the place of visitors to argue or refuse to abide by their decisions. The Unist’ot’en may ask you to leave at any time. Visitors who can’t get along at Unist’ot’en camp or who do not respect the camp hosts, the rules, the land, or the property of the camp qualify for a free ride to Houston BC. From there, you will be required to make your own travel plans. It is strongly suggested that you read Resources for Allyship and Solidarity. You must Register Here before arrival.