Featured image: Christi Belcourt, WET’SUWET’EN / NO PIPELINES, 2019.
Anne Spice, an Indigenous queer writer and academic and ongoing defender of Wet’suwet’en even before the rallies, was arrested by RCMP at Unist’ot’en camp. Images of Spice’s arrest spread across social media with the words “Reconciliation is Dead” superimposed over top, and it quickly came to define the raids on Unist’ot’en camp. When I asked what drew them to land defence, Spice replied: “Part of it was this really incredible community of queer, Two-Spirit people and trans people out on the front lines. I’ve been doing this work, especially over the past five years, and it’s a clear pattern. These are people who are really willing to put themselves on the line and keep showing up again and again. Queer Indigenous people are in a particularly good position to really understand what it means to remake relations with the land and with the animals and all of the non-human beings that we are connected to. There’s something about both Indigenous and queer life that is constantly looking outside of the heteropatriarchal colonial norm for more just and healthy relations. And since we’re already doing that work, there’s a really powerful connection to land-defence movements.”