ASPECC STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR WET’SUWET’EN
We, the board of Alberta Sex Positive Education and Community Centre, (ASPECC) stand in solidarity with the people of Wet’suwet’en and the Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en camps and in full support of Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction and governance.
ASPECC is a sex positive, non-profit organization that was founded by sex positive individuals with the goal of providing a Safe(r) Space to support the public by offering shame free sex education resources with a focus on consent, sexual empowerment and sexual diversity.
We live in a society where sex is often shrouded in shame and mystery. A world where any expression of gender, sexuality, or style of relationship that does not match social expectations can result in stigmatization and discrimination. ASPECC seeks to provide a safe haven for folks stigmatized by their gender, sexuality or relationship style. We work hard to create a sex positive environment, one that promotes healthy attitudes about diversity and sexuality. We also offer opportunities to the general public for growth and learning as it pertains to sex positivity, with a wide variety of talks, presentations, workshops and events.
Sex positivity encourages open and safe communication, ethics, consent, empowerment of sexual minorities, and the resolution of various social problems that are associated with sexuality and gender in the settler-colonial state known as Canada.
The ongoing impact of colonization continues to support sexualized violence towards indigenous women across Turtle Island, with research into this violence indicating strong causal links to oil and gas camps (See this article regarding O&G Camps and Sexual Violence). This violence has been able to continue in order to support large corporations in their pursuit of profit.
Currently (As of Feb 11 2020) the Wet’suwet’en land is being illegally and unethically wrested from the sovereign control of the hereditary chiefs- who have NOT CONSENTED to the use of their land by Coastal Gaslink.
Consent requires that all parties are clearly informed as to what they are agreeing to prior to the action proceeding, at that they freely agree to that action. The illegal, non-consensual occupation of Coastal GasLink and militarized RCMP of these lands is an affront to the RIGHTS of Indigenous Peoples. The forced removal of peoples from their traditional territories goes against the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We unequivocally support the hereditary chiefs in their demand that :
- That the province of British Columbia cease supporting the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project and suspend permits that interrupt the traditional practices and relationships of the Wet’suwet’en people.
- That the UNDRIP and their right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) are respected by the state and RCMP.
- That the RCMP and associated security and policing services be withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en lands, in agreement with the most recent letter provided by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD) request.
- That the provincial and federal government, RCMP and private industry employed by CGL respect the land’s laws and their governance system, and refrain from using any force to access their lands or remove their people.
- Recognize the direct correlation between increased violence and remote industry camps that come with projects such as CGL, which produce an influx of temporary workers – a “shadow population” of mostly young men whose presence contributes to the vulnerability of Indigenous women and strains social services.
We encourage all in our network to read this solidarity toolkit and learn more about what they can do to support the Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders. Find a list of actions happening around the country in solidarity with Unist’ot’en here.