Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation

The Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation is a First Nations band located outside of the village of Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada.[1][2] It was formerly known as the Broman Lake Indian Band and is still usually referred to as Broman Lake although this is no longer its official name.[3] Its members speak the Wetʼsuwetʼen dialect of Babine-Witsuwitʼen, a Northern Athabaskan language. The main community is on Palling Indian Reserve No. 1.

As of March 2017, the Nation had 257 registered members, with 85 members living on the First Nation's own reserve.[4]

The Nation is a member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council[5] and of the Broman Lake Development Corporation.

The Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation was formerly part of the Omineca Band. In 1984, the Omineca Band split into the Broman Lake and Nee-Tahi-Buhn Band. The Skin Tayi band later split off from Nee-Tahi-Buhn.

The Unistʼotʼen Clan has held a checkpoint since 2010, the Unistʼotʼen Camp,[6] which has been stopping all pipeline crews from entering the area since they do not have permission from the Office of the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, who are represented by their spokesperson Freda Huson. Starting in 2019, RCMP units were deployed to evict certain Wet'suwet'en people from their traditional territory in order to construct the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, due to decisions allowing development by the independent Canadian judiciary. Numerous allegations of human rights violations,[7][8] suppression of journalism[9] and failure to recognize the right of the First Nations people to make decisions about their unceded land[10] have been levelled against TC Energy, John Horgan, and Justin Trudeau by independent news outlets, First Nations groups, and the United Nations. Other First Nations stood in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen protests and blocked rail lines across Canada, which resulted in cancellation of most of the rail service in Canada in February 2020.[11] The protests have gained widespread attention and have been supported by some Canadians[12][13], while others are concerned about the adverse impact on economy and transport. The protests have divided the country between Canadians that support the Gas Pipeline and those that support the Wetʼsuwetʼens.

Other Wetʼsuwetʼen tribes include the Burns Lake Indian Band, Hagwilget Village First Nation, and Moricetown.


  1. ^ Canada, Government of Canada; Indigenous and Northern Affairs (2013-02-06). "Wet'suwet'en First Nation". www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  2. ^ "Office of the Wet'suwet'en". www.wetsuweten.com. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  3. ^ "Browman Lake Community, Wetsuweten". www.wetsuweten.com. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  4. ^ Branch, Government of Canada; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Communications (2008-11-03). "Home". fnp-ppn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  5. ^ Branch, Government of Canada; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Communications (2008-11-03). "Home". fnp-ppn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  6. ^ "UNIST'OT'EN CAMP — Heal the People, Heal the Land". Mother Theme. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  7. ^ "Wet'suwet'en: Promises Must Lead to Concrete Action". Amnesty International Canada. 2020-01-20. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  8. ^ Narwhal, The. "'What cost are human rights worth?' UN calls for immediate RCMP withdrawal in Wet'suwet'en standoff". The Narwhal. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  9. ^ "RCMP crackdown on journalists in Wet'suwet'en territory threatens free press". amnesty.ca. 2020-02-07. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  10. ^ "Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs Evict Coastal GasLink from Territory". http://unistoten.camplanguage=en. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  11. ^ "Via Rail cancels most trains nationwide, CN closes Eastern Canadian network as Indigenous protests continue". www.cbc.ca. 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  12. ^ "Protesters block ports, streets and rails in support of Wet'suwet'en in B.C." www.cbc.ca. 2020-02-09. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  13. ^ "The need for protest". www.macleans.ca. 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-02-16.

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