MPP Sol Mamakwa, the Official Opposition critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, released the following statement in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, and supporting actions throughout the nation:
“The recent arrests by the RCMP in Wet’suwet’en Nation signal yet another failure on Canada’s part to recognize and respect the laws and rights of Indigenous Peoples. The criminalization of First Nations people who are attempting to protect their lands and water is unacceptable. As the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls states, ‘[b]oth physical violence and legal prosecution are used against Indigenous people to criminalize them, particularly in reference to those defending land and water rights, but also as related to the protection of families and communities.’
The Ontario NDP advocates for a Nation-to-Nation dialogue between all parties, one that recognizes Wet’suwet’en Nation governance and authority. We believe the RCMP should stand down, and should call off any further police action in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. Work on the construction of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline should cease unless all parties agree it can continue. The federal Minister and his provincial counterparts should meet immediately, without conditions, with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. Similar Nation-to-Nation meetings must happen between the governments of Ontario and Canada, and with Tyendinaga, as well as between other First Nations and other provincial governments. We don’t condone arrests by the OPP, or CN Rail police, of peaceful protestors and hope that restraint and respectful dialogue continue to be exercised in Ontario.
Ontario’s New Democrats believe that our province, as well as all provinces and territories, must move forward on partnerships with Indigenous peoples. We feel strongly that solutions to the current situation in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory must be Indigenous-led, as should discussions regarding supportive actions in Mohawk territory, and all other First Nations territories. In the upcoming session of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, the NDP will continue to hold the Ontario government accountable for its actions—or lack thereof–towards meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.”
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