July 24, 2012
Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. Yesterday the BC government announced minimum requirements for the construction and operation of heavy oil pipelines. These requirements are directly related to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway twin-pipelines that could be built through unceded Carrier Sekani lands. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is disappointed in Premier Christy Clark's government on several aspects of their announcement, particularly related to the unilateral creation of policies that impact First Nations in BC; it is the first time Carrier Sekani First Nations have heard of BC's heavy oil policy paper.
Newly elected Tribal Chief Terry Teegee announced, “It seems that BC doesn't get it. The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is doomed. Our people are joined by over 100 First Nations, environmental organizations and thousands of Canadians opposing the building of tar sands pipelines through our territory and opposing the related tanker traffic.” The Enbridge pipeline project is not worth the risk to over 700 waterways, coastal ecosystems and to terrestrial wildlife, especially as moose populations are in deep decline due to forestry practices and the mountain pine beetle. “We're concerned more and more about the cumulative impacts from these types of projects. First Nations are not against development, but it has to be done right and must be supported by First Nations”, noted Tribal Chief Teegee.
“First Nations seem to be the only responsible government these days,” said Chief Martin Louie of the Yinka Dene Alliance and Nadleh Whut'en First Nation (a CSTC member First Nation). He stated, “Our Yinka Dene peoples have been here since time immemorial and we have inherent rights protected by the Canadian Constitution, as well as supported by the United Nations. Canada, including BC, is obligated to live up to its support for and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including the free, prior and informed consent for projects that affect our peoples and our lands.” Chief Louie added, “BC doesn't get it, the Enbridge pipeline will not be allowed to be built in our lands. It is not worth the risks to future generations.”
“We're calling on the Premier and her Ministers to take a stand with us to protect our lands and coastal environments”, stated Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. He continued, “Enbridge is misrepresenting the First Nations support they say they have for the Northern Gateway pipeline project. Even if the BC government does not think First Nations have a veto, we are prepared to continue opposing this project along with other First Nations and thousands of Canadians and British Columbians that do not want tar sands oils in tankers or in pipelines in our territories.”
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For further information contact:
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, RPF: 250-562-6279; Cell 250-640-3256
Vice Tribal Chief Dolly Abraham: 250-562-6279
Chief Martin Louie, Nadleh Whut'en First Nation: (250) 570-7759