Conflict in Wet’suwet’en Territory

This series focuses on the conflict in Wet’suwet’en territory which captured national attention late in 2018 and into early 2019. The fault lines erupted between hereditary leaders of the territory and band councils throughout it, with the former against the construction of TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, and the latter in favour of it. The conflict went beyond this, of course, with the RCMP raiding a Unist’ot’en camp in a widely-recognized inappropriate use of force. In order to understand the broader context of this debate, this session explores the landmark Delgamuukw case (1997) and its implications for land rights in Wet’suwet’en territory and Gitxsan territory. In the summer of 2019, Justin Trudeau’s government purchased the TransCanada pipeline, saying that “the pipeline is to have shovels in the ground this summer.”