Acknowledgement of Territories

While one focus of this Teach-In is to prepare settlers to resist the Pacific Trail Pipelines in Wet’suwe’ten territory, we also acknowledge that this event is taking place on unceded Lekwungen territory. The land upon which we live, meet, raise our families and (un)learn together was taken from the original inhabitants through oppression, dislocation, and violence that amounts to genocide. This process is not a historical event, but it is ongoing, and forms a structure that shapes our mental and physical everyday existence on these lands.

While we recognize the good intentions behind acknowledgements, we fear that they often become an empty gesture, a platitude, an act of posturing. In light of this, we are attempting to link resistance to the Pacific Trail Pipelines to the “right here, right now” of settler colonialism and Indigenous resistance in the here and now. In a similar vein as “acknowledgement as posturing,” if resistance to the Pacific Trail Pipelines is without resistance in the places we occupy regularly then resistance to pipelines is also a form of posturing: a form of parachute activism, concerned with spectacle not substance, anti-colonial maybe, but not unsettling nor acting towards decolonization. Instead, without linking pipeline resistance to the “right here, right now,” there is an inherent danger of moving towards a more “sustainable” form of settler colonialism.

That being said, we make our acknowledgement knowing that we will make mistakes in our work and that we aim to take responsibility for those mistakes and to learn from them.  The task of unsettling is, by its very nature, an uncomfortable one.

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