In 1908 our clan, like all other clans in the Wet’suwet’en Nation, were forced at gunpoint out of our homes and off our territories. Our ancestors were pushed onto reservations and threatened with arrest for being Indigenous. By returning to our land and building the infrastructure for a healthy sustainable future, we are modelling to the colonial governments what reconciliation looks like at a grassroots level. By asserting our sovereignty, we are taking responsibility for the future of our territories. In doing so, we exercise a system of land management that is conducive to securing clean water, air and food sources on the land for generations to come.
Since the invasion of our territories by various industrial giants through logging, mining, sports fishing, big game hunting, and of course oil and gas, our territorial base has been compromised in the worst ways. Many of our fish-bearing streams have been contaminated and our forests destroyed due to mining and the de-regulation of industrial forestry. We Likhts’amisyu understand that nature will heal herself and our Boreal forests will again thrive, if given the chance. Self-governed and heavily subsidized extractive industries cannot and will not allow for this. The health and security of our vibrant forests, waters and natural food systems is critically important. We must uphold traditional law and protect these lands from further destruction.
By teaching the next generation to monitor water quality, animal numbers, forest size, and industrial activity, we can track the rate at which our territory is being impacted by invasive projects. With these goals in mind, we have already hosted chiefs from other clans and nations, members of our own Wet’suwet’en community, and Indigenous land defenders. We have shared traditional stories, music, food, and our shared history, as well as the future we would like to see. We are now going back home and reoccupying our home territories. This is vital to our survival. We are connected to this land, and by nurturing our territories, we are opening the door for our children to learn, live, heal and grow in a healthy and safe environment, where we can mold them into strong leaders.
In building our Likhts’amisyu Village on our unceded territory, we the Likhts’amisyu are providing our clan members an opportunity to reconnect with a legacy handed down from generation to generation.
To date, we are proud to announce that we have completed two cabins in the care of Dstahyl and Tsebesa. The third cabin is nearing completion. We have constructed an outdoor kitchen, spring fed well, solar system, summer bunkhouse, a green house, and a garden. There is lots of work and maintenance that is required to sustain such a project- for this, again, we ask our supporters and allies to help us raise funds for the next solstice period.
We are raising funds for the following construction and maintenance costs going forward:
-Two additional off-grid cabins built to house and sustain two more of our respected hereditary leaders out on the land. $30,000- $40,000 each.
-Shower house, root cellar and mega wood shed. $30,000-$40,000 total
Our plough truck, Bobcat, mini- excavator, mini crane truck, village truck, snowmobiles, quads and chainsaws all need regular maintenance and repairs.
We estimate the total cost of insurance, fuel and necessary repairs of our machines to be upwards of $10,000 per solstice.
Likhts’amisyu Clan members, Wet’suwet’en people and all our settler supporters have also been providing equipment, food, cleaning supplies and personal items to help sustain the village. We continue to welcome donations of materials and volunteers to help with the construction and maintenance of our village.
We encourage you to check out our website here for more information. Thank you so much for your support.
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- Ton van Haeren
- Linh Truong
- Morgan Kincade
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