Mennonite Church Canada and Christian Peacemaker Teams form accompaniment team in Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory

 

Team members (L-R): (Back row) Josiah Neufeld, Steve Heinrichs, Allegra Friesen Epp; (front) Emily Green and Rachelle Friesen.

 

Mennonite Church Canada, together with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has responded to an invitation to accompany Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory. Today a group comprised of CPTers and members of Mennonite Church Canada arrived at the camp in northern B.C.

The team members are:

  • Rachelle Friesen, Canada Coordinator, Christian Peacemaker Teams
  • Allegra Friesen Epp, Mennonite Church Canada-CPT intern and member of Home Street Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Man.)
  • Emily Green, CPT reservist
  • Steve Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Church Canada
  • Josiah Neufeld, member of Hope Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Man.)

The team released the following statement today: “While many communities and workplaces have been in a form of lockdown for over a year, the work of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline has not stopped. Settler colonialism and land theft continues. But so too does Indigenous resistance. Part of the resistance is the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre which nurtures connection to the land, cultural and spiritual wellness, and ensures Indigenous presence on sovereign territory. Five members of CPT and Mennonite Church Canada will be joining the site for approximately one month. Updates from the field will be limited, but we look forward to sharing our journey with you upon our return.”

With respect to COVID-19, the camp has protocols in place for risk reduction, and is taking risk seriously. The CPT – MC Canada Team for accompaniment has also put in place a strict COVID-19 protocol to minimize the risk of transmission. In addition, all members of this group have received their first vaccination.

A press release with further details and an update on the team’s stay in the camp is scheduled for mid-June.

An interview with two team members (Friesen Epp and Green) can be found here.

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Media contacts:

Katie Doke Sawatzky

Communications coordinator

Mennonite Church Canada

 

Caldwell Manners

Communications coordinator

Christian Peacemaker Teams