Coast Salish Territories: Indigenous Land Defenders Denounce Criminalization at Burnaby Mountain

From It’s Going Down

As resistance to a Kinder Morgan pipeline continues in so-called British Columbia, indigenous land defender SunTree Johnson Larue has been arrested and is in need of solidarity. The following press release discusses the current situation. For ongoing updates, follow Camp Cloud.

For the past six days, Secwepemc land defender SUNTREE JOHNSON LARUE has been in police custody after an undercover police ambush at Burnaby Mountain. The RCMP targeted Suntree with a coordinated and forceful attack as he was walking near the gates of the Kinder Morgan tank farm in Burnaby.

Suntree recently traveled to Burnaby to stand with Coast Salish peoples to defend their collective Indigenous rights and title. Over half the length of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline threatens to cross through SunTree’s own unceded Secwepemc territory in the interior.

“We as Indigenous peoples are on the frontlines of fighting for our homelands and lifeways in the face of corporate-colonial threats like the Kinder Morgan pipeline. But whenever we exercise our inherent rights, we are subject to criminalization and human rights violations,” says KANAHUS MANUEL of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and Tiny House Warriors. “Canada is abusing its power by using police and courts to try to silence us. We cannot accept the systematic and illegal criminalization of Indigenous land defenders for exercising our internationally-protected Indigenous Rights and Title.”

According to GRAND CHIEF STEWART PHILIP, “With our voice, in the courts, or the streets, on the water, or the land, whatever it takes, we will stop Kinder Morgan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of this reckless Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline project denies inherent Indigenous Title and Rights and violates the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On Saturday April 7 at 11 am I will be leading a march and getting arrested at the gates of Kinder Morgan. As an Indigenous person, I am affirming my personal and collective right and commitment to the land and the water.”