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HEILTSUK AND KITASOO-XAIXAIS JOINTLY FILE COURT CHALLENGE TO FEDERAL DECISION APPROVING ENBRIDGE NORTHERN GATEWAY PIPELINE
First Nations vow to uphold community mandates to protect their territories from oil tankers
BELLA BELLA, BC – (July 14, 2014) Following the federal government’s approval of Enbridge Northern Gateway, the Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais Nations are vowing to fight in the court, and if necessary, on the land, to protect their coastal territories and way of life.
“Our people have been clear since this pipeline was proposed,” said Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett. “We will not allow this to threaten our waters. We stand with our relatives up and down the coast in rejecting this frightful project.”
The two central coast First Nations groups have jointly applied for the right to bring a judicial review of the federal government’s decision. “This issue has catalyzed our peoples,” said Kitasoo-Xaixais Tribal Councillor Douglas Neasloss. “Let this be a signal that we intend to fight this project in a spirit of unified strength.”
(Vancouver, June 26, 2014) – The Tsilhqot’in decision is a major victory for all First Nations people in British Columbia and Canada. “It represents a massive shift in the relationship between First Nations and governments,” said Art Sterritt.
Sterritt, the executive director of the Coastal First Nations, said the decision also reaffirms the long road First Nations been on for the last 45 years. “Many of our leaders have worked tirelessly to get to this point where the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously recognized our Aboriginal Rights to the land.”
First Nations owe a lot of gratitude to the Tsilhqot’in people, he said. “We thank and honour Chief Roger William, Tsilhqot’in chiefs, elders, community members and his team for their perseverance and unwavering commitment.”
First Nation Completes “Symbolic Blockade” of Douglas Channel In Opposition to Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline
HARTLEY BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA (June 20, 2014) - Members of the Gitga’at First Nation have successfully stretched a crochet “Chain of Hope” across the Douglas Channel as a symbol of their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tankers project.
A flotilla of boats from the community began the journey at 2pm after inclement weather delayed their launch. Gitga’at women paddled a canoe across the channel in the pouring rain, carrying a giant spool of multicolor crochet wool, interspersed with mementoes and fishing floats with messages written on them.
Media Advisory: First Nation to Blockade Douglas Channel in Opposition to Northern Gateway Pipeline and Oil Tankers
The Gitga’at First Nation will be blockading the Douglas Channel tomorrow morning (June 20, 2014) to show their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tankers in BC’s narrow coastal waters.
What: Gitga’at women, children and men will float a 20,382 foot long crochet “Chain of Hope” across the Douglas Channel between Hawkesbury Island and Hartley Bay.
All shipping will be stopped. Visit: www.chainofhope.ca
Premier Christy Clark called on to reject pipeline once and for all to preserve broader resource dialogue in BC and relationships with First Nations.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (June 1_, 2014) – Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline is “effectively dead” because Enbridge will never meet the conditions for approval outlined by the federal government.
The government’s announcement giving its approval to Enbridge is meaningless. “It’s an approval in name only. This project is dead,” said Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations. “The project can’t proceed with these conditions. We’ve been clear there is no technology to clean up an oil spill and the dispersant that is used causes more damage than the oil itself.”
Heiltsuk Nation responds to Federal Government decision on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project
(June 17, 2014, Bella Bella) The Federal Government’s decision to approve with conditions Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project isn’t surprising, says Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett.
The Heiltsuk didn’t expect Canada to reject the Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP) despite the many deficiencies related to the risky project, said Chief Marilyn Slett. “The government has been clear from the beginning that the project will go ahead without First Nations support, without social licence or without having to address issues such as “world-class” oil spill technology.”
The Heiltsuk will continue to oppose the NGP project. “This decision represents the end of another round in a long fight to protect our lands, waters and resources. We will not back down.”
First Nations, 2 in 3 British Columbians deny Northern Gateway permission to proceed
Vancouver, June 16 2014 – A coalition of First Nations and civil society groups today delivered a final rejection of Enbridge’s pipeline and oil tanker project. With many First Nations gearing up for court battles to protect their territories from this risky proposal, representatives of Coastal First Nations, Dogwood Initiative, Unifor, West Coast Environmental Law, Douglas Channel Watch and One Cowichan promised to work together to defeat Northern Gateway, regardless of any approvals issued by the federal cabinet.
“Our people have lived on this coast for 10,000 years,” said Art Sterritt, Executive Director of Coastal First Nations. “Over that time we developed laws and protocols to keep human impacts on the landscape in balance. Those laws are still in effect. Crude oil tankers are banned in our territories under First Nations law.”
Chief Marilyn Slett
Despite spending millions of dollars trying to buy support for its Northern Gateway Project Enbridge still doesn’t have the support of First Nations and the majority of British Columbians. Some of its hollow claims include saving the salmon and continually exaggerating the benefits while under estimating or not even reporting the environmental and social costs of the project. These claims simply aren’t true.
The Heiltsuk Nation is making one promise. We will do whatever it takes to stop oil tanker traffic in our waters. With the Federal Government expected to announce its decision on whether or not to approve Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project (NGP) as early as next week we must continue to work together to ensure the project doesn’t go ahead.
Let’s hope for truly world-class leadership and a clear ‘no’ from Harper and Clark on Northern Gateway
By Art Sterritt, Special to the Vancouver Sun June 4, 2014 2:32 PM
A recent Bloomberg-Nanos poll shows a majority of British Columbians want Prime Minister Stephen Harper to either delay or kill the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
Their No. 1 concern is oil spills, and for good reason: no technology is capable of cleaning up more than 10 per cent of diluted bitumen from an ocean spill, much less in the treacherous waters of B.C.’s North Coast.
This should be a wakeup call for Premier Christy Clark. One of her five conditions for approving the construction of heavy oil pipelines and tanker projects in B.C. is “world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems” to “manage and mitigate the risks and costs” of pipeline and oil tanker spills.