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Settler governments are breaking international law, not Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, say 200 lawyers, legal scholars – The Star
Feb. 24, 2020
As lawyers and legal academics living and working on this part of Turtle Island now called Canada, we write to demand an end to the ongoing violations of Indigenous nations’ internationally recognized right to free, prior, and informed consent — for example, with the Trans Mountain and Coastal GasLink pipelines routed through unceded Indigenous lands, including Wet’suwet’en lands.
Canadian law and legal institutions — from legislation like The Indian Act to court decisions legitimizing treaty violations with racist stereotypes — have long served as instruments of settler colonialism. And they continue to do so with the legal authorization of the violent dispossession, suppression, and criminalization of Indigenous land and water protectors.
“Think about everything that First Nations people have survived in this country: the taking of our land, the taking of our children, residential schools, the current criminal justice system,” as the late Mohawk legal scholar Patricia Monture-Angus wrote. “How was all of this delivered? The answer is simple: through the law.”
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