Indigenous Peoples

Brent Jang

[Website editor's note: Two articles, published Sept 30 and Oct 1, 2015,  on the proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline and the proposed gas pipeline and LNG plant in BC] 

Native leaders divided on oil-sands pipelines 

Two groups of First Nations have issued duelling statements on where aboriginal people stand on oil-sands pipelines, highlighting opposing native viewpoints toward the energy industry.

Mychaylo Prystupa
Eight First Nations announce their federal legal challenge to the Northern Gateway pipeline at a Vancouver press conference. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

The Harper government’s already strained relationship with First Nations that oppose oil sands pipelines is being put on trial this week.

Eight B.C. First Nations are in federal court to launch a legal attack on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The coalition hopes to overturn Ottawa’s conditional approval of the project, which would deliver Alberta crude to B.C.’s north coast.

Kathy Michaels
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton reaches out to an audience member during the grand entry of the delegates to the 2014 BC Elders Gathering at the South Okanagan Events Centre. — Image Credit: Penticton Western News File Photo

“Anybody but Harper.”

Grand Chief Phillip Stewart didn’t mince words when it came to the message he has for Okanagan voters.

“Clearly, after nine and a half years of fighting, the Harper government has demonstrated that the Conservative Party of government is very hostile and adversarial to First Nation rights and interests,” he said, Thursday.

“Right from the time they took power, they completely trashed the Kelowna Accord, which presented $5.1 billion in funding for desperately needed new health, education, housing and infrastructure.”

Mike De Souza

CALGARY (Reuters) - Native chiefs in the Western Canadian province of British Columbia voted on Wednesday to join some of their eastern counterparts opposed to a major pipeline project, in a move some leaders described as a step toward a national alliance aimed at blocking expansion of Alberta's oil sands industry.

Geraldine Thomas-Flurer

Ever since the Enbridge pipelines and tankers project was first proposed, more than a decade ago, and Yinka Dene communities began to learn about the threat it poses to our lands, our water and our way of life, we knew this day might come: Next week Yinka Dene Alliance members Nadleh Whut’en and Nak’azdli will be in court challenging the Enbridge project.

Christopher Curtis
Indigenous protesters shut down a public consultation over the Energy East pipeline at a downtown Montreal office building, on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2015. COURTESY OF SUBMEDIA.TV

Police were called to a downtown Montreal office building Wednesday after indigenous protesters shut down a public consultation over the Energy East pipeline.

Amanda Lickers says she was accompanied by about 25 people when she entered the meeting and interrupted proceedings.

Brent Jang
Lelu Island, site of an LNG export terminal proposed by Pacific NorthWest LNG. The group has offered $1-billion to the Lax Kw’alaams in exchange for their consent. (Brent Jang/The Globe and Mail)

The Lax Kw’alaams First Nation is seeking aboriginal title to Lelu Island and Flora Bank, creating a legal obstacle for a Malaysian-led consortium that wants to build an $11.4-billion terminal to export liquefied natural gas from British Columbia.

The aboriginal group will file a notice of civil claim to launch the legal action next week in the B.C. Supreme Court, Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece said in an interview on Friday.

Mark Hume
The First Nations argued that Site C, together with oil and gas developments in the same area, would take away so much land that trapping, hunting and fishing could no longer be pursued in traditional ways. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Opponents of BC Hydro’s Site C dam have suffered another legal setback in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

In a ruling released Friday, the court rejected an attempt by the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations to quash an environmental certificate issued by the government for the $8.8-billion project on the Peace River.

Alex Morton
Ahousat get rid of salmon farm 2015

From: Alex Morton []
Sent: September 19, 2015 10:49 AM
Subject: Ahousaht get rid of salmon farm!!!


On September 9th Lennie John saw that Cermaq was trying to drop anchors in his fishing grounds in a bay called Yaakswiis.  He radioed Ahousaht for others to come from the village and soon there were many boats.  Five Ahousaht men stepped onto the farm and told the Cermaq crew to leave.

April Lawrence

About 50 members of the Tsartlip First Nation joined in the protest as representatives of Steelhead LNG arrived at the band office Friday for the meeting.

The Tsartlip do not currently support the project, saying they were not consulted before the deal was announced last month.

Chief Don Tom says when industry approaches communities that live in poverty it makes those communities vulnerable.


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