Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC: The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is congratulating the Yinka Dene Alliance (made of up of several CSTC member First Nations: Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Saik’uz , Takla Lake, and Tl’azt’en) for their perseverance and leadership in stopping the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline from crossing their unceded territories. Today the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the decision made by the Harper government that approved Enbridge certificates to continue to move ahead with their oil pipeline proposal with inadequate consultation with First Nations communities. The Appeal was brought forward by 8 First Nations (Gitxaala, Haisla, Gitga-at, Kitasoo Xai’Xais, Heiltsuk Tribal Council, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en and the Haida Nation), four environmental groups and a labour union.
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee stated, “The CSTC is pleased with the federal Court of Appeal decision. We are grateful and proud of the leadership, especially from two of our communities, Nadleh and Nak’azdli, in continuing to defend our lands from an unwanted development. Enbridge and Canada needs to understand: no, means no.” First Nations have been saying that this project was not worth the risk, but the government went ahead and approved the Enbridge proposal without meaningfully consulting First Nations. According to Yinka Dene laws of stewardship responsibility, projects like heavy oil pipelines are inconsistent with seeking balance. Yinka Dene rights and laws have an equal place in BC and Canada. The Yinka Dene also believe in the international law of free, prior and informed consent, which is required from First Nations governments.
“The fight is not over. We will continue to defend our rights to govern our lands for the current and future generations. Today was a victory for all First Nations, British Columbians and Canadians. We call on Prime Minister Trudeau to meet with our people to begin a better path for reconciliation”, stated Tribal Chief Teegee. He added, “Now the federal cabinet must decide how to proceed with dealing with the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. We are here to stay and must find a better way to govern and protect our lands and resources.”
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Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, CSTC Office : (250) 562-6279; Cell: (250) 640-3256