Unistoten Camp, BC, Canada

"Heal the People, Heal the Land". Unist'ot'en camp actively resists oil and gas pipelines for 10 years by building a bunk house, healing center, gardens and community based on Indigenous Laws and Responsibilities.


On the Beautiful Widzin Kwa (Morice River): The Grassroots Wet'suwet'en people are fighting to stop the onslaught of 7 multi-billion dollar proposed pipeline projects from entering their unceded and occupied lands.

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Basic Data
NameUnistoten Camp, BC, Canada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Shale gas fracking
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsPacific Trails Pipeline (PTP):

The $1-billion Pacific Trails Pipeline would deliver natural gas from northern B.C. and Alberta to the LNG terminal for shipment overseas. Kitimat, the future home of an Apache Canada liquefied natural gas plant and the tanker port for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. pipeline which would transport fracked gas from northeastern BC to the Pacific Coast.

Shell Canada Limited

Mitsubishi Corporation

KoreaGas (KOGAS)


All are involved as members of the LNG Canada consortium

Coastal Gas Link (CGL Pipeline):

Approximately 670 kilometres in length, the Coastal GasLink pipeline would deliver natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat, B.C. After Coastal GasLink delivers the natural gas to a facility near Kitimat, LNG Canada will prepare it for export to global markets by converting the gas to a liquefied state (LNG).

The CGL project is owned by TransCanada, which operates one of North America’s largest natural gas pipeline networks – 91,500 kilometres.
Project Area (in hectares)463 km long pipeline
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesApache Corp.
EnCana Corp from Canada
EOG Resources
from United States of America
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Shell Canada Limited from Canada
Mitsubishi Corp. from Japan
Korean Gas Corporation from Republic of Korea
LNG Canada consortium from Canada
Coastal Gas Link from Canada - Hold the contract to build the CGL pipeline
TransCanada from Canada - Proponents of Coastal Gas Link
Relevant government actorsBC Provincial Government

BC Courts

Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAlgonquins of Barriere Lake, Anishinabek Oshkimaadiziig Unity Camp, Anti-Colonial Solidarity Collective-Montreal, Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) Land Defenders, Boreal Forest Network, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, Climate Justice Research/Action (Science for Peace), Council of Canadians, Deep Green Resistance, Independent Jewish Voices-Toronto, Indigenous Action Movement, Indigenous Defenders of the Land Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Ottawa, Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement-Winnipeg, Indigenous Reoccupation of Ancestral Lands- Ancestral Pride Ahousaht Sovereign Territory, Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network-Toronto, International League of People’s Struggles-Canada, Leadnow, Média Recherche Action, Mining Justice Alliance, Mother Earth Justice Advocates, Native Youth Movement, No One Is Illegal-Toronto, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Toronto, ShitHarperDid, Sierra Club-Prairie Chapter, Stop the Pave, Streams of Justice, Submedia.tv, Tadamon, Toronto Bolivia Solidarity, Truth Fool, Turning the Tide Bookstore, Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Re-occupation of their territory, building a traditional pithouse and Healing Lodge on the pipeline route. Action camps to train activists.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Other environmental related diseases, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
OtherMan camp will be built on territory, raising risks of sexual assault.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseFostering a culture of peace
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Strengthening of participation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
The PTP pipeline route had been redirected. The Northern gateway pipelines project was cancelled in 2016.
However, as of February 2019, workers for the Coastal Gas Link pipeline are on Unsit'ot'en territory clearing land for the construction of the pipeline.
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Project cancelled
Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of AlternativesThe Unistoten work in solidarity with neighbouring communities who want to stop all pipelines, reverse climate change, shut down tar sands and hydrofracturing for shale gas, and also communities who see through the false solutions to climate change via Carbon Marketing, Carbon, Boreal and Biological Offsets and REDDs in 3rd World Countries.

They advocate a system of natural Laws that are based on their Indigenous Laws or Responsibilities, including Responsibilities to ourselves, our families, and the lands and waters we have relationships with. The project also includes a permaculture garden and attempts to use sustainable energy generation methods using junk technology and water and wind powered energy.

They have built a large Healing Lodge. Espousing their message "Heal the People, Heal the Land", the Healing Lodge offers experience of healing to their community members "to live on the land and have a connection with the natural world and our teachings... It is a chance to return to some of our traditional teachings and land-based wellness practices of our ancestors".

The leadership at Unist'ot'en helped forge the Sacred Fire Network to coordinate and share information and resources between many Indigenous front lines in BC.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Several proposed pipeline projects has been diverted or cancelled, many action camps have been held successfully with throusands of participants. The camp is a powerful symbol for a movement that is not based on Not in My Backyard concerns nor is simply resistance to a pipeline and the defense of a territory, but based on the building and rebuilding of a radical alternative and traditional living. The philosophy espoused by the clan goes beyond a rights-based discourse to one of responsibility that has the potential to be truly transcendent.

This has fully been a win for environmental justice for the last decade. However in January 2019, CGL filed for an injunction to enter Unist'ot'en territory. The injunction was granted, and after fierce resistance of incursion by the RCMP by Wet'suwewt'en land defenders and supporters, CGL workers are now beginning construction work in the territory. This struggle has inspired support from around the world
Sources and Materials

Delgamuukw Decision on Native land entitlements, based on a court case brought by the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations in 1984.


A lay Persons Guide to Delgamuukw
[click to view]

Developing Oil and Gas Resources On or Near Indigenous Lands in Canada: An Overview of Laws, Treaties, Regulations and Agreements, Laura Wright, Jerry P. White, August 2012
[click to view]

Chevron Canada Fact Sheet
[click to view]

First Nations (PTP) Group Limited Partnership (FNLP), Chevron and Woodside Petroleum initiative, May 2015
[click to view]


Unistoten pages
[click to view]

Earth First
[click to view]

Unist'ot'en Camp facebook page
[click to view]

B.C. first nation members evict pipeline surveyors, set up road block, The Globe and Mail, 22/11/2012
[click to view]

Pacific Trail Pipeline, Chevron official web page
[click to view]

The PTP Aboriginal Skills to Employment Partnership (PTP ASEP), outcome from Chrevon’s First Nations Limited Partnership Agreement
[click to view]

Indigenous Canadians take leading role in battle against tar sands pipeline, J. Stonington, The Guardian, 18/10/2015
[click to view]

Native leaders divided on oil-sands pipelines, The Globe and mail, 30/09/2015
[click to view]

LNG Canada gets permit for export facility in Kitimat, B.C., The Globe and Mail, 05/01/2016
[click to view]

LNG Canada Project overview Official webpage
[click to view]

Major Projects, KITIMAT
[click to view]

[click to view]

[1] (Ducklow, 2019) Nine Things You Need to Know about the Unist’ot’en Blockade. The Tyee.
[click to view]

[2] Heal the People, Heal the Land. Unist'ot'en Zine.
[click to view]

Media Links

UnistotenCamp You Tube channel
[click to view]

The Action Camp, Stop the flows, August 2012
[click to view]

Imagen del plan preliminario de la pipeline (chevron website)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Unist’ot’en Camp human chain The Unist’ot’en Camp, in the path of TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline, Chevron’s Pacific Trail Pipeline and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline

Feunte: leveller.ca
[click to view]

Healing Lodge at Unist'ot'en Camp (Photo Credit: Warner Naziel)

Sourced from (https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/12/15/unistoten-camp-faces-temporary-injunction-over-pipeline-protest.html_
[click to view]

No Access without Consent Print by Annie Banks. Sourced from (http://unistoten.camp/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/UZINE_View.pdf)
[click to view]

Heavily armed RCMP officers arrive to shut down Indigenous checkpoints blocking CGL natural gas pipeline. Photo by Michael Toledano. Sourced from (https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/01/08/LNG-Pipeline-Unistoten-Blockade/)
[click to view]

Unist'ot'en Camp Residents and supporters of the Unist'ot'en Camp have sent a loud and clear message to pipeline developers. Photo courtesy of Unist'ot'en Camp.

Sourced from: https://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/what-you-need-know-about-unistoten-pipeline-standoff
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLeah Temper & Jen Gobby
Last update10/04/2019