BC Coastal First Nations Ban Tanker Traffic Through Traditional Lands

by: EJ on 03/25/2010
Posted in: Activism

During the Olympics and Para-Olympics, we saw the host First Nation heads of state take their place next to Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell at the opening and closing ceremonies. Will this symbolic gesture translate into true sovereignty for First Nation territories elsewhere? A recent stand by the Coastal First Nations against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project will be a good testing ground.

On Tuesday, March 23rd, the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez crude oil spill, the Coastal First Nations of British Columbia from Vancouver Island to the BC/Alaska border made a unanimous statement against the project. They are joined by the vast majority of First Nations affected along the pipeline route from Kitimaat to Alberta. These First Nations - whose territories are all directly impacted by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline - stood in unity to voice their opposition to the plan. The Coastal First Nations issued a declaration stating:

"In upholding our ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities, we declare that oil tankers carrying crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands will not be allowed to transit our lands and waters."

This video, prepared by the Dogwood Initiative shows an overview and summary of the press conference.

You can also see more complete coverage at CBC News. Art Sterritt outlines the location of all the First Nations in opposition, lists the names of Olympic athletes and other famous people who have pledged their support to the First Nations opposition and announces the launch of a sustainable energy plan for that geographic region.

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