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UCalgary students show solidarity for Wet’suwet’en

By Nikayla Goddard, March 5 2020—

University of Calgary students, staff and organizations showed their solidarity for the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s railway blockades in two recent events on campus.

On Mar. 2, the Assembly of Social Workers, Idle No More Calgary, UC Social Work Student Association and the University of Calgary Indigenous Students’ Council hosted a gathering at the Social Work Student Lounge in MacKimmie Tower, followed by gathering together at the quad in front of MacHall at 4 p.m. Participants held printed and homemade signs, sang along to the “Strong Woman” song and listened to Michelle Robinson speak. 

“We wanted to show solidarity for the Wet’suwet’en,” Robinson said after the event. “They are unarmed land defenders under attack so we wanted to show our support to them.”

She continued, “The Wet’suwet’en were in the middle of a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women ceremony when the RCMP hand-picked them and handcuffed them out. We want to continue to raise awareness for the fact that even though the mainstream media and the governments are saying that there’s an agreement, there is no agreement coming from the Wet’suwet’en and the Unist’ot’en camp. And we want to keep the pressure on our governments to be honest and they’re not.”

Two days later on the Mar. 4, a student walk-out was organized, welcoming students to join them once again on the quad in front of MacHall. 

The Indigenous Students’ Council (ISC) recently released a statement declaring their opposition towards the federal government and the RCMP for their actions towards the Wet’suwet’en Nation. 

“The actions taken towards protestors and their camps in recent weeks by the RCMP, were inhumane in practice and showed a blatant disregard for the traditional power structures represented by the hereditary chiefs and the inherent land rights of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in unceded territory. It is the ISC’s belief that the events around the Wet’suwet’en people and their protest displays institutionalized racism.”

The ISC “calls out the Canadian government to cease using direct force or coercion against the Indigenous peoples of Wet’suwet’en. The peaceful protesting will never stop.”

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