A Pipeline Runs Through Us

A Pipeline Runs Through Us
Published: Dec 08, 2019
The subject of Indigenous rights comes up a lot these days. Fortunately, our understanding of how centuries of colonialism have affected Indigenous peoples has greatly increased, and with it a new understanding of how to turn things around — not just in terms of Indigeneity, but in other social movements as well. The following 18-minute documentary (soon to be a full length feature) is an intimate portrait of an Indigenous tribe fighting off commercial interests who want access to their land. For us one of the film's most rewarding aspects is its eloquent articulation of the fundamentals of sovereignty.


The Free Prior and Informed Consent

'The Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) protocol used by the Unist’ot’en is a request of permission to enter the lands of the traditional chiefs and matriarchs. Visitors are asked to identify themselves and their relationship to the hosts, as our ancestors did. Like a border crossing, the protocol questions make Unist’ot’en land a safe place. FPIC ensures peace and security on the territory.

'In ancient times and even today in canoe journeys, and community resistance building gatherings, there exist Protocols where visiting peoples have shown who they are in relation to asking permission to enter the Traditional Lands from the Traditional Chiefs and Matriarchs of the hosting lands.

"Free Prior and Informed Consent is now also written into the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)."


Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, December 2018

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, December 2018.


Traditional pithouse on Unist’ot’en Yintah, journal of wild culture, ©2019

Traditional pithouse on Unist’ot’en Yintah.



Supporters on the bridge over Wedzin Kwah.



Wet’suwet’en matriarch and spokesperson, Freda Huson, arrested as RCMP enforce Coastal GasLink pipeline injunction, Feb 10, 2020. [o]


Visit the Unist'to'ten Camp website.


FOR MORE CURRENT INFORMATION on these events, see this recent article from Feb. 10, 2020 detailing the RCMP's intervention into the camp.



UNIST'TO'TEN CAMP leads a non-violent occupation of unceded Unist´ot´en territory. The camp is located at the shore of the Wedzin Kwah and mouth of the Gosnell Creek, all tributaries to the Skeena, Bulkley, and Babine Rivers. The proposed pipelines from Enbridge Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails both seek to cross the rivers at the exact point where the occupation cabin is built on the Unis’tot’en Territory of Talbits Kwah.

Photographs courtesy of Unist'ot'en Camp.













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