#169 | Heal The Land, Heal The People: The Unist'ot'en Healing Center w/ Dr. Karla Tait

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Karla Tait -- clinical psychologist, Director of Programming for the Unist'ot'en Healing Center, and member of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation (in so-called British Columbia, Canada). In this interview, I ask Dr. Tait to bring us up to speed on the details surrounding the recent invasion of Wet'suwet'en Territory by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on January 7th, the legal dimension of this ongoing confrontation between the Wet'suwet'en people and the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline project being pushed through by the Canadian government, and what this unfolding situation means for the sovereignty of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation and the ongoing work of the Unist'ot'en Healing Center within that territory.

After briefly discussing the details of these events, we move on to discuss Dr. Tait's work with the Unist'ot'en Healing Center at the Unist'ot'en Camp -- an ongoing project to revitalize the cultural/spiritual traditions of the Wet'suwet'en people as a means of healing from generations of trauma, as a result of the colonization of indigenous lands, peoples, and cultures, particularly within Wet'suwet'en territory. I ask her how the Wet’suwet’en people, in particular at the Unist’ot’en Camp and Healing Center, are generating and maintaining space for this kind of healing, and how the threat of direct confrontation with the Canadian State and its corporate allies (the fossil fuel industry) threatens the sacred work of this Camp and the Healing Center. What does the Unist’ot’en Camp and the Healing Center provide — not just for the Wet’suwet’en people — but for all people waking up to the reality of widespread ecological collapse and the ongoing violence of colonialism around the world? We discuss this and more in this episode.

Dr. Karla Tait is a clinical psychologist, and is presently employed as the Mental Wellness Advisor for the Northern Region with the First Nations Health Authority, serving the 54 First Nations in Northern BC. Dr. Tait is the Director of Programming for the Unist'ot'en Healing Centre, a collective effort by her Hereditary House Group to revitalize culturally-based, wellness and holistic healing practices that are centered on connection to the land. Dr. Tait belongs to the Gilseyhu clan (Big Frog) clan of Yahstowilcus (the Dark House). Her Dini Zi' (House Chief) is Unistot’en, Knedebeas, Warner William, maternal grandmother is Weli’, Catherine Michell, maternal grandfather was Tsayu, Wigitemstochol (Dan Michell), mother is Brenda Michell-Joseph, father is Rene Tait and stepfather is Melvin Joseph. Her father clan is Laksilhyu (small frog/cariboo).*

*Source: http://bit.ly/2B4Fzv5

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about the Unist’ot’en Camp, and support them: http://unistoten.camp

- Learn more about the Unist’ot’en Healing Center: http://bit.ly/UnistotenHC

- Follow the Unist’ot’en Camp on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten

- Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UnistotenCamp

- The audio featured at the beginning of this episode is from Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau's town hall event after the January 7th breach of the Gitdumt'en Checkpoint by RCMP: http://bit.ly/2Mt5zVH