No to colonial pipelines, yes to an economy and society based on Indigenous sovereignty.
September 9, 2020, Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.
Today, as artists in this city, we collectively declare our support for Indigenous sovereignty movements, specifically the ongoing campaign by the Wet’suwet’en people for ancestral land rights and title.
We are sharing this letter to express collective admiration and support for the active resistance of Wet’suwet’en people and the Unist’ot’en Clan against the colonial corporate oil and gas industry.
Amidst an unfolding climate disaster facing all life, we support Indigenous voices fighting for self-determination, sovereignty and environmental justice.
Global scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming. The Guardian recently reported that there is “near unanimity among climate scientists that human factors – car exhausts, factory chimneys, forest clearance and other sources of greenhouse gases – are responsible for the exceptional level of global warming.”
Indigenous voices and communities are sounding the alarm and yet the Canadian government is undertaking a tiny fraction of what is needed to concretely address this reality.
Rather than prioritize renewable energy and deeper systemic change, the Liberal government is building the new Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) pipeline. They are also facilitating the growth of the oil and gas sector more broadly, including Tar Sands expansion and the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
As artists who support Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice, we are calling for the implementation of a Green New Deal of the North: a social and economic transformation that moves to eliminate fossil fuel use and redistribute wealth, while creating dignified livelihoods within a framework of Indigenous sovereignty.
The choice between jobs on the one hand, and Indigenous self-determination and the environment on the other, is a false one. Millions of green jobs can be created by taxing corporations and the wealthy. It’s time for mass participation in efforts to build a society and an economy that are aligned with the sovereignty of Indigenous nations and planetary survival, an Indigenous project now ongoing for well over 400 years.
Artists in this city have often spoken to historical moments, and so at this critical time, we stand together to stand with Wet’suwet’en and for climate justice.