The UVSS Board stands in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders and their supporters across blockades on unceded Pacheedaht and Ditidaht territory (Fairy Creek, Walbran Valley, Eden Grove, Caycuse) and throughout what is colonially known as Vancouver Island. 

The defense of old growth forests across so called British Columbia is resistance against historical and ongoing structures of settler-colonial violence and capitalism. These structures are upheld today by the continuous displacement of Indigenous peoples from the Land they hold living relationships with. 

Xʷ is xʷ čaa (Kati George-Jim), niece of Elder Bill Jones, reminds us that “Colonial systems put us in a position where there is no choice [between prosperity and well-being], while the traditional systems that we have had to depend on for our entire existence as Indigenous peoples to this coast are actively being disrupted by this [and every colonial] government. it needs to be known that this [situation] is by design: to have Band Councils, to have the Indian Act system be placed on our peoples, to be placed on the land in order to exploit and rape the land. It is not a mistake. This system is meant to undermine our family structures, is meant to rip our children from our families and from the land.”

The UVSS as an institution that operates within a country defined by colonial law, on unceded territory, is determined to question these colonial systems. We stand with Indigenous Land defenders, to “fight for a way out of the conditions of colonialism imposed on us all,” [Aya ƛapisim/ Clappis], to find sustainable employment “to be able to take care of you all for generations to come.” [Aya ƛapisim/ Clappis] We can never stop working towards Nuuchahnulth liberation & sovereignty. None of us are free until all of us are free.” 

None of us are free until there are no more Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit Peoples, until the Lands and Waters are returned to those who have nourished and stewarded them since time immemorial. 

 

“Nisma back/Land back.

Culture back.

Waters back.

Everything back.”  [Aya ƛapisim/ Clappis

 

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