The Vancouver Secondary Teachers Association (VSTA) is writing in support of the Unist’ot’en Camp near Houston, BC. We are concerned about the unjust treatment of the Wet’suwet’en people by the Federal Government’s use of the RCMP to forcibly remove them from their unceded and traditional lands. The Provincial Government of British Columbia, as well as the Federal Government have both committed to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Article 8.2.b of the Declaration states that “States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.” The treatment of the Wet’suwet’en people is in direct contradiction to the aforementioned article.
Canada has made a solemn commitment to reconciliation and as Public School teachers, in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, we have been tasked and honoured with the duty of working towards building relationships between settlers and Indigenous people. The only way that our nation will ever be able to achieve true reconciliation is by treating all Indigenous peoples with respect, which includes respecting their rightful claim to protect their territory. We call upon your government to its promise and commitment to the TRB Calls to Action as well as the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.