PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 JUNE 2019

UVIC STUDENTS’ SOCIETY STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE UNIST’OT’EN

Elected student leaders at the University of Victoria join international call for solidarity with the Unist’ot’en

Victoria, BC –  At a June 17 meeting of the UVSS Board of Directors, elected student leaders voted unanimously to take a public stance in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en. They join a chorus of over 1,000 First Nations, academic and union leaders, musicians, and environmental organizations.

The UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) has pledged to take concrete steps to challenge colonialism and racism, and raise awareness of social and environmental justice.

“Canadians need to educate themselves, and we all need to do our part in order to make reconciliation a reality. The Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline is a violation of the principles of reconciliation and decolonization the federal government claims to espouse.” says Shay lynn Sampson, UVSS Director of Events.

This declaration comes in the wake of a public call to action by the Unist’ot’en. Many Indigenous nations never surrendered their land to the Canadian government, which was affirmed in the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa Supreme Court of Canada case that recognized and affirmed Wet’suwet’en sovereignty.

The BC Supreme Court is deliberating on a current injunction that would either allow CGL to continue with construction, or uphold Indigenous sovereignty.

“In order to live up to the promise of reconciliation, Canadians must recognize the legacy of colonialism and continued violence against Indigenous peoples. The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls makes clear that ‘man camps,’ such as the proposed Coastal GasLink work site, increase violence against Indigenous women and girls,” says Victoria Eaton, UVSS Director of Student Affairs.

For more information on how to support the Unist’ot’en and their call to action, please reference their website (http://unistoten.camp/whatsnext/). Students interested in learning more about UVSS decolonization are encouraged to attend the upcoming Board meeting on July 8, 2019.

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The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 18,000+ undergraduate students at the University of Victoria.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Contact: Shay lynn Sampson (she/her), UVSS Director of Events

Phone: 250-721-8369 | Email: events@uvss.ca