“We can’t continue at the rate we’re going”: Freda Huson of Unist’ot’en

From Unist’ot’en to Elsipogtog to Nitassinan, NunatuKavut and Nunatsiavut — more and more of Canada’s Indigenous peoples are defending their land and rights. Jon Parsons speaks with Freda Huson of the Unist’ot’en Clan.

In an interview with Independent correspondent Jon Parsons at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation offered a message to those resisting the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric mega-dam in Labrador.

“It’s gonna take people joining forces. It’s gonna take all walks of life to join forces with us, because every waterway is connected and we all breathe the same air,” said Freda Huson. “And if we don’t start doing something about it all of us are going to be extinct just like the dinosaur.”

The Unist’ot’en have set up a blockade on their unceded territory in northern British Columbia, where for the past few years they have been protecting their traditional lands and evicting industry workers involved with pipeline projects that would extend from the Alberta tar sands to the B.C. coast.

The Unist’ot’en Camp is one of a growing number of grassroots efforts by Indigenous groups to protect their land and rights from Canadian government-supported large scale development projects that threaten the water, land, air and animals the continent’s original inhabitants have depended on for thousands of years, and still do today.

“People need to wake up and educate yourselves and take part in trying to make change here,” Huson told The Independent. “We can’t continue at the rate we’re going otherwise there will be no people here.”

For more information on the Unist’ot’en Camp, visit http://unistotencamp.com

Editor’s note: If you would like to respond to this or any article on TheIndependent.ca, or if you would like to address an issue we haven’t yet covered, we welcome letters to the editor and consider each of them for publication in our Letters section. You can email yours to: justin at theindependent dot ca. Not all letters will be printed, but all will be read.

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