Press Release: National and International Actions Against Oil and Gas Pipelines

26 Nov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALL NEWS EDITORS

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
AGAINST OIL AND GAS PIPELINES

November 26, 2012 –Actions are taking place across Canada and internationally on Tuesday November 27 in support of the Unis’tot’en, who grabbed national headlines when they evicted shale gas pipeline surveyors from their territories in the interior of BC last week. The Unis’tot’en have made it clear that no proposed pipelines will proceed in Unist’ot’en territories and that corporations, investors, and governments have no jurisdiction to approve development on their lands.

Media Contacts:
Spokesperson for the Unist’ot’en Clan Freda Huson: 18683094388
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy: toghestiy@gmail.com
Harjap Grewal: Council of Canadians: 604-340-2455

For a full list of actions and more information:
https://unistotencamp.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/solidarity-actions/

On November 20, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company, working for Apache’s proposed shale gas Pacific Trails Pipeline. In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors were ordered to leave the territory and the road entering into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice.

Since July of 2010, the Wet’suwet’en have established a camp in the pathway of the Pacific Trails Pipeline. Likhts’amisyu hereditary chief Toghestiy states, “Unist’ot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en have consistently stated that they will not allow such a pipeline to pass through their territory. The federal and provincial governments, as well as Indian Act tribal councils or bands, have no right or jurisdiction to approve development on Unist’ot’en lands. By consulting only with elected Indian Act tribal councils and bands, the Canadian government breaks its own laws as outlined in the 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision which recognizes Hereditary adjudication processes.”

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unist’ot’en Clan, states: “Pacific Trails Pipeline does not have permission to be on our territory. This is unceded land. Through emails and in meetings, we have repeatedly said NO. Pacific Trail Pipeline’s proposed route is through two main salmon spawning channels which provide our staple food supply. We have made the message clear to Pacific Trails, Enbridge, and all of industry: We will not permit any pipelines through our territory.”

The Unist’ot’en clan is against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories. This includes Enbridge Northern Gateway, Pacific Trails, Coast Gas Link, Kinder Morgan’s northern proposal, and others. Pacific Trails Pipeline is the most pressing and immediate threat to the community. Enbridge pipeline would be built side by side to – with essentially the same right of way as Pacific Trails, thus raising concerns that the Pacific Trails Pipeline might ‘blaze a trail’ for the Enbridge project.

Brigette Depape, known as the Rogue Page for standing up in Senate with a Stop Harper sign, is lending her support to the Unist’ot’en, “I believe we will stop the agendas of reckless governments and industries because of strong leadership from communities like the Unis’tot’en as they take action against irresponsible pipelines.”

According to the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, much of the shale gas produced in BC is currently destined for Alberta, where it is used as fuel in the tar sands. While industry sells fracking as a “green transition fuel,” Robert Howarth from Cornell University emphasizes that “Shale gas is worse than conventional gas, and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil.”

The Council of Canadians, one of Canada’s largest organizations, is supporting the day of action. Chairperson Maude Barlow has recently written, “The Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and the Pacific Trails Pipelines would put the economic interests of industry ahead of people and communities. These pipelines would add more tanker traffic to BC’s pristine coastlines, expand fracking and tar sands industries, increase climate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and violate First Nations rights to hunt, trap, and fish on their land and to make decisions about the future of their traditional territories. We need to do everything we can to turn the tap off to these pipelines.”

Judy Da Silva of the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) Land Defenders states, “The Asubpeeschoseewagong Land Defenders stand with the Unist’ot’en. When we come together to protect the land, we are doing it for all of our future generations. This government and all of industry needs to understand that no means no. We will not sacrifice our lands, cultures, and children for their greed.”

– 30 –

Unist’ot’en: Unist’ot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are a clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation. The Wet’suwet’en are made up of five clans, with territories that they are expected to manage for their future generations. Neither the Unist’ot’en People or the other Grassroots Wet’suwet’en are associated with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en.

Pacific Trails Pipeline: Pacific Trails Pipeline is a $1 billion partnership between Apache Canada, Encana Corporation, and EOG Resources (Enron Oil and Gas). Royal Bank of Canada, the largest financier of oil and gas companies operating in the tar sands and the second largest financier of Enbridge, is also a major investor in Encana. In fact, David P. O’Brien, Chairman of the Board of Encana, is also the Chairman of the Board of Royal Bank of Canada. The 463-kilometer pipeline would connect a liquefied natural gas terminal in Kitimat to Summit Lake near Prince George in northeastern BC, with the aim of transporting upto 1 million cubic feet of natural gas per day extracted through hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (fracking), to international markets through supertankers. The BC government approved the pipeline’s expanded capacity in April 2012.

Asubpeeschoseewagong Land Defenders: This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek blockade in northern Ontario. For the past decade, the community has maintained a blockade that has held off some of the world’s largest paper corporations from logging their territories.

Globe and Mail: BC First Nation members evict pipeline surveyors and setup road block http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-first-nation-members-evict-pipeline-surveyors-set-up-road-block/article5547325/

The November 27th call to action is issued by the Unist’ot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en and is supported by Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Anishinabek Oshkimaadiziig Unity Camp, Anti-Colonial Solidarity Collective-Montreal, Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) Land Defenders, Boreal Forest Network, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, Climate Justice Research/Action (Science for Peace), Council of Canadians, Deep Green Resistance, Independent Jewish Voices-Toronto, Indigenous Action Movement, Indigenous Defenders of the Land Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Ottawa, Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement-Winnipeg, Indigenous Reoccupation of Ancestral Lands- Ancestral Pride Ahousaht Sovereign Territory, Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network-Toronto, International League of People’s Struggles-Canada, Leadnow, Média Recherche Action, Mining Justice Alliance, Mother Earth Justice Advocates, Native Youth Movement, No One Is Illegal-Toronto, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Toronto, ShitHarperDid, Sierra Club-Prairie Chapter, Stop the Pave, Streams of Justice, Submedia.tv, Tadamon, Toronto Bolivia Solidarity, Truth Fool, Turning the Tide Bookstore, Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network.

List of actions:

Trinidad: Canadian High Commission at 10:30 am. 3-3A Sweet Briar Rd., St. Clair, Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Organized by Rights Action Group and Trini Eco Warriors.

Chico, California: Noon at Kinder Morgan Chico Terminal, 2570 Hegan Lane.

Edmonton: Noon at Royal Bank, 10843 82 Avenue Northwest.

Hamilton: Noon at Royal Bank, Jackson Square.

Kamloops: Noon in front of TNRD public library main branch, 465 Victoria.

Montreal: à 10h00 en face du Banque Royale du Canada- 1 Place Ville Marie (Coin University et René Levesque).

Ottawa: 4 pm at Prime Ministier’s Office, Wellington & Elgin St.

Prince George: 10 am in front of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council building and Royal Bank main branch, 1460 6th Ave.

Regina: Noon at Royal Bank, 11th & Hamilton.

Smithers, Unceded Gitdumden territory: Noon at the Royal Bank on Main and Broadway.

Toronto: 11 am. Demo at Royal Bank Headquarters, Bay and Front.

Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories: Noon at Apache Canada, 200 Burrard St (corner Cordova).

Victoria: Noon at Royal Bank Main Branch, 1079 Douglas.

Updated: Call for solidarity actions on Tuesday November 27th

23 Nov

Raising Resistance: Solidarity with the Unist’ot’en.
Call for actions on Tuesday November 27th

Traduction Francaise ici: http://montreal.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/14663

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UPDATES (keep checking back)
Or on Facebook here
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* To promote and follow the actions on social media use #nopipelines
* Click here to download info leaflet that can be handed out, version francaise
* Press release link here
* After the action, email your photos and videos to hwalia8@gmail.com and post them to: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten

List of actions on Tues Nov 27th:

Trinidad: Canadian High Commission at 10:30 am. 3-3A Sweet Briar Rd., St. Clair, Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Organized by Rights Action Group and Trini Eco Warriors.

Chico, California: Noon at Kinder Morgan Chico Terminal, 2570 Hegan Lane.

Edmonton: Noon at Royal Bank, 10843 82 Avenue Northwest. FB event here.

Hamilton: Noon at Royal Bank, Jackson Square. FB event here.

Kamloops: Noon in front of TNRD public library main branch, 465 Victoria.

Montreal: à 10h00 en face du Banque Royale du Canada- 1 Place Ville Marie (Coin University et René Levesque). FB event here.

Ottawa: 4 pm at Prime Ministier’s Office, Wellington & Elgin St. FB event here.

Prince George: 10 am in front of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council building and Royal Bank main branch, 1460 6th Ave. FB event here.

Regina: Noon at Royal Bank, 11th & Hamilton. FB event here.

Smithers, Unceded Gitdumden territory: Noon at the Royal Bank on Main and Broadway.

Toronto: 11 am. Demo at Royal Bank Headquarters, Bay and Front. FB event here.

Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories: Noon at Apache Canada, 200 Burrard St (corner Cordova). FB event here.

Victoria: Noon at Royal Bank Main Branch, 1079 Douglas. FB event here.

Read below about getting involved and organizing an action in your community

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In inspiring resistance this past week, the Unist’ot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en have, yet again, evicted pipelines from their territories!

On November 20th, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company who were working for Apache’s proposed natural gas Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors were ordered to leave the territory and the road leading into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice. The materials that were left behind by the work crew are being held until Apache and PTP agree to open up appropriate lines of communication with the Unist’ot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en according to the Free Prior and Informed Consent protocol and laws of their unceded territories. The Unist’ot’en are against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgans northern proposal, Pembina, and Spectra.

The Unis’tot’en are now calling for solidarity and support actions to reaffirm their position and to amplify the message to Industry and Government that no proposed pipelines will proceed in their territories. There is a call for immediate actions on Tuesday November 27th to ensure that corporations, investors, and governments get a clear message that they have no right or jurisdiction to approve development on Unist’ot’en lands.

Here is how you can get involved for Tues Nov 27:

  1. Find a local office near you; it could be a corporate office or a government office. Suggestions include: Encana, Apache or EOG who are partnering in PTP; Royal Bank of Canada or Jarislowsky Fraser Limited who are Encana’s largest investors; or provincial or federal offices.
  2. Any action or presence, large or small, at these offices is welcome. Get the message out that there will no pipelines on Unist’ot’en lands and that these pipelines are harmful to the land and the community. These extractive projects are based on a fundamentally destructive colonial and capitalist model that forces profits ahead of Indigenous self-determination and stewardship, destroys and exploits the land and ecosystems, and disregards the safety and health of communities including those who have to work the poisonous jobs in these industries.
  3. Please take photos and videos of your action.
  4. We have basic flyers and media information available that you can download and use.
  5. Spread the word. Share this web link and this FB event. Also like the FB page for ongoing updates

If you can organize an action, please let us know by Sunday November 25th so that we can list it (or do a surprise action!). If you do want to coordinate, please email Harsha at harsha at resist.ca, Toghestiy at toghestiy at gmail.com, and Julien at sesamo at riseup.net.

The “Raising Resistance” call to action is issued by the Unist’ot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en and is supported by Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Anishinabek Oshkimaadiziig Unity Camp, Anti-Colonial Solidarity Collective-Montreal, Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) Land Defenders, Boreal Forest Network, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, Climate Justice Research/Action (Science for Peace), Council of Canadians, Deep Green Resistance, Independent Jewish Voices-Toronto, Indigenous Action Movement, Indigenous Defenders of the Land Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Ottawa, Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement-Winnipeg, Indigenous Reoccupation of Ancestral Lands- Ancestral Pride Ahousaht Sovereign Territory, Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network-Toronto, International League of People’s Struggles-Canada, Leadnow, Média Recherche Action, Mining Justice Alliance, Mother Earth Justice Advocates, Native Youth Movement, No One Is Illegal-Toronto, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Rising Tide-Toronto, ShitHarperDid, Sierra Club-Prairie Chapter, Stop the Pave, Streams of Justice, Submedia.tv, Tadamon, Toronto Bolivia Solidarity, Truth Fool, Turning the Tide Bookstore, Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network. Please email us if you would like to add your name to the list of supporters.

LINKS:

The Unist’ot’en community’s website, including news releases and videos from latest events:
https://unistotencamp.wordpress.com

A short video explaining the community’s struggle can be found at:
http://stoptheflows.tumblr.com/

Donate winter gear and supplies to the Unist’ot’en action camp:
http://forestaction.wikidot.com/caravan

BC First Nation members evict pipeline surveyors and setup road block:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-first-nation-members-evict-pipeline-surveyors-set-up-road-block/article5547325/

Fractured Land video and project:
http://www.fracturedland.com

BACKGROUNDER:

What is Pacific Trails Pipeline?

Of the many proposed pipeline projects that would cross through Unist’ot’en land, Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP) is the first one slated to begin construction and poses and immediate threat. PTP is a $1 billion partnership between Apache Canada, Encana Corporation, and EOG Resources (Enron Oil and Gas). The 463-kilometer pipeline would connect a liquified natural gas terminal in Kitimat to Summit Lake near Prince George in northeastern BC, with the aim of transporting upto 1 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, extracted through hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (fracking), to international markets through supertankers. The BC government approved the pipeline’s expanded capacity in April 2012.

What is Wrong with Fracking?

While industry sells fracking as a “green transition fuel,” ecologist specialist Robert Howarth from Cornell University, says it clearly: “Shale gas is worse than conventional gas, and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil.” A number of doctors, including the chief medical officer at the U.S. National Center for Environmental Health and the New Brunswick College of Family Physicians, have called for a moratorium on fracking. A number of jurisdictions, including France, Quebec, and New York, currently have moratoriums on fracking. Last year, three Kainai women from the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta were arrested for preventing a column of trucks from leaving a Murphy Oil well site and vowing not to move until fracking plans were stopped.

What are the Unist’ot’en saying?

The Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation has been vocal about their opposition to PTP. Clan members have built a log cabin and protection camp in its path. Most recently, on November 20th, 2012, Wet’suwet’en Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors. In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors and all other people associated with PTP were ordered to leave the territory and told that they are not ever allowed to return to Unist’ot’en land. The road has now been closed to all industry activities until further notice. On August 23rd, 2010, Toghestiy and Hagwilakw of the Likhts’amisyu clan gave Enbridge representatives trespass warnings during a Smithers Town Council meeting where Enbridge attended to attempt to smooth over their recent oil spill on the Kalamazoo River. In November 2011, setting up a road blockade with “Road Closed to Pacific Trails Pipeline Drillers” signs, the Unist’ot’en and the Likhts’amisyu of the Wet’suwet’en escorted out PTP drillers and their equipment.

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unist’ot’en Clan, states: “Pacific Trails Pipeline does not have permission to be on our territory. It’s unceded land. We said ‘NO!’ in their meetings. We’ve written them letters; I’ve sent them emails, saying ‘absolutely NO!’ to their projects. Pacific Trail Pipeline’s proposed route is through two main salmon spawning channels which provide our staple food supply. We have made the message clear to Enbridge and Pacific Trails and all of industry: We will not permit any pipelines through our territory.”

Likhts’amisyu hereditary chief Toghestiy similarly states, “Unist’ot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en have consistently stated that they will not allow such a pipeline to pass through their territory.”

The Wet’suwet’en are made up of five Clans, with territories that they are expected to manage for their future generations. Neither the Unist’ot’en People or the other Grassroots Wet’suwet’en are associated with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en. The Unist’ot’en clan is against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgans northern proposal, Pacific Trails, Pembina, Spectra, and others. Enbridge pipeline would be built side by side to, with essentially the same right of way as, Pacific Trails, thus raising concerns that this pipeline might ‘blaze a trail’ for the Enbridge project.

What is the Carbon Corridor?

Pacific Trails Pipeline, along with Enbridge pipeline and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, are part of a larger energy strategy. Like Alberta, the British Columbia government aims to be an ‘energy power house’ by exploiting some of the largest shale gas deposits in North America and using pipelines to place fracked shale gas on the more lucrative international market. According to the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, much of the shale gas produced in BC is currently destined for Alberta, where it is used as fuel in the tar sands. All this is happening as Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Enbridge’s proposed reversal of the Line 9 pipeline to open up Ontario, Quebec and U.S. markets are also putting short term corporate-driven capitalist interests and resource-extractive colonial developments ahead of Indigenous self-determination and stewardship, destroying and exploiting the land and ecosystems, and disregarding the safety and health of communities including those who have to work the poisonous jobs in these industries.

VIDEO: Pipeline Surveyors Fail FPIC

22 Nov

Yesterday, these Pipeline Surveyers were unable to pass a simple set of protocol questions which most good people could answer. As a result they were both eventually refused entry into the yintah (territory).

PTP Surveyor Equipment Confiscated

22 Nov

From the beautiful unceded Unis’tot’en Yintah (Territory):

At 10am on the morning of November 21, 2012, surveyors from Can-Am Geomatics were denied access to Unis’tot’en territory at the bridge crossing of the Wezin Kwah (Morice River).

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Toghestiy engaged the surveyors in a Free Prior and Informed Consent protocol. As the surveyors declined to share information obtained from their unauthorized entry the previous day, the decision was made not to allow the surveyors back into the territory to collect their equipment.

After the protocol at the bridge, Toghestiy stated, “The surveyors claimed they were working on a contract for Apache, an American oil and gas company. Apache is the leading partner in the Pacific Trails Pipeline project which intends to connect shale gas fields in Northeastern BC with LNG Terminals in Kitimat.” The Likhts’amisyu chief reasserted that “the Unis’tot’en and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en have consistently stated that they will not allow such a pipeline to pass through their territory.”

The Unis’tot’en (aka C’ilhts’ekhyu) and Grassroots Wet’suwet’en reject Apache’s claim to have support from a majority of indigenous groups along the pipeline route. Freda Huson states, “Apache’s claim that they have support from 15 out of 16 First Nation groups is extremely misleading. They are following the government’s direction to not deal with Hereditary Chiefs who are the legitimate title holders of these lands. Instead they are attempting to deal with Indian Act governments who have no jurisdiction off of their Indian Reservations. The Supreme Court of Canada’s Delgamuukw decision explicitly shows that they are breaking their own laws.”

After the surveyors were turned back, a crew from Unis’tot’en camp snowmobiled out to Crystal Road, some 20 kms from camp to retrieve materials left behind by the work crew the previous day. The materials were successfully retrieved and brought back to camp where they are being held until Apache and PTP agree to open up appropriate lines of communication with the Unis’tot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en according to the Free Prior and Informed Consent Protocol and laws of their sovereign unceded territories

VIDEO: PTP Surveyors Being Given Trespass Notice by Toghestiy

21 Nov

PTP PIPELINE SURVEYORS ORDERED OFF UNIS’TOT’EN TERRITORY

21 Nov

From the beautiful unceded Unis’tot’en Yintah (Territory):

On the evening of November 20th, 2012, Wet’suwet’en Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company who were working for Apache’s proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors and all other people associated with PTP were ordered to leave the territory and told that they are not ever allowed to return to Unis’tot’en land. As a result of the unsanctioned PTP work in the Unist’ot’en yintah, the road leading into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice.

Toghestiy stated, “I have invoked the Wet’suwet’en Inuk nu’ot’en (Law) called Bi Kyi Wa’at’en (Responsibility of a husband to respectfully use and protect his wife’s territory) to issue a trespass notice to Pipeline workers on her sovereign territory. My Clan’s territory called Lho Kwa (Clore River) is located behind the Unist’ot’en territory adjacent to the Coastal town of Kitimat and it is our responsibility to protect our territory as well. We will be stopping all proposed pipelines.”

The Wet’suwet’en are made up of five Clans, with territories that they are expected to manage for their future generations. The Unis’tot’en clan has been dead-set against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include PTP, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, and many others. The Unis’tot’en have established a permanent community along the Widzin Kwa (Morice River) directly in the path of the proposed energy corridor and made their opposition extremely clear.

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unis’tot’en Clan, states: “PTP does not have permission to be on our territory. It’s unceded land. We said “NO!” in their meetings. We’ve written them letters; I’ve sent them emails, saying “absolutely NO!” to their projects. Consider it trespass when you enter our territory without permission. You’ve received your warning. Don’t come back!”

This marks the second time that eagle feathers have been issued to pipeline workers. On August 23rd, 2010, Toghestiy and Hagwilakw of the Likhts’amisyu clan gave Enbridge representatives trespass warnings during a Smithers Town Council meeting where Enbridge attended to attempt to smooth over their recent oil spill on the Kalamazoo River.

UNIS’TOT’EN STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH TAR SANDS BLOCKADES TARGETING KEYSTONE XL IN TEXAS

20 Nov

 

Thousands of miles Northwest of the Tar Sands Blockade stands the Unis’tot’en Camp, where members of the grassroots Wet’suwet’en and their allies have established a resistance community directly in the path of the Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails Pipelines.

The Unis’tot’en Camp stands in solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade. We commend the courage and dedication of the dauntless eco-warriors of Texas.  May our actions be in conjunction with yours.

We are issuing this statement from our home deep in the Boreal forest by the banks of pristine Wedzin Kwa, colonially known as the Morice River. We drink straight from the river that gives life and vitality, feeding the plants and animals of the territory. The forest stands timeless and regal, wild and free.

As we speak, Wet’suwet’en lands are threatened by a proposed industrial energy corridor that would include many pipelines intending to transport shale gas and tar sands oil to the port town of Kitimat and onto tankers bound for Asian markets. This would facilitate expansion of both the Athabasca Tar Sands and B.C.’s toxic fracking industry. The most immediate threat to the Wet’suwet’en territory is the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP), a shale gas pipeline meant to blaze the trail for several others along the same right-of-way.

Similar to the Keystone XL blockades of Texas, the Unis’tot’en camp resistance also embraces ecological accountability to Mother Earth. Every parent and grandparent has the responsibility to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. We implore the parents of Texas and the world to heed this call and to be accountable to the future of the children and grandchildren. We must defend the water, the air, and the land against the ravages of industry.  Let us act with bravery and take action, and let us take freedom into our own hands.

Continue reading

Link

Freda Huson, Unis’tot’en Spokesperson at She Speaks

28 Sep

Freda Huson, Unis’tot’en Spokesperson at She Speaks

Wet’suwet’en and the Pacific Trails Pipeline Interview on Terra Informa with Toghesity

3 Sep

Wet’suwet’en and the Pacific Trails Pipeline, Peat Moss and Media Independence

On this week’s episode, Terra Informa speaks to Toghestiy, hereditary chief of the Likhts’amisyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, about Wet’suwet’en resistance to pipelines in their territories. In the second part of the program we investigate the challenges and downfalls of using peat moss in backyard gardens. Finally, from the archives, Terra Informa speaks with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! about the importance of independent media.

Pipelines the latest challenge to First Nations

3 Sep

Pipelines the latest challenge to First Nations Federal, provincial governments must respect their responsibilities Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Pipelines+latest+challenge+First+Nations/7160125/story.html#ixzz25Mgjp7fs

By Dorothy Field, Times Colomnist

Recently, I spent a week in Wet’suwet’en territory in northwestern B.C. I drove up in an old school bus with a group determined to help the Unis’tot’en (the Big Frog clan) and Lhe Lin Liyin (the Guardians). We were prepared to block the Pacific Trail Pipeline that will carry fracked natural gas from B.C.’s northeast to Kitimat.

With all the attention on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, the approval of the Pacific Trail Pipeline in April has received little notice. The pipeline is opening the energy corridor that Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and Pembina will use if they also get approval. It will create a swath of devastation several kilometres wide.

In all the necessary talk of Enbridge’s abysmal record of spills and pipeline malfunction, the war between Alberta and B.C. for profits and the possible refinery at Kitimat, the issue of First Nations’ sovereignty has been all but ignored. My experience up north tells me this is a glaring blind spot.

Our bus arrived at the bridge across the Morice River, an hour southwest of Houston, at 4 a.m. A sign told us to honk and wait. After some time, two elders arrived. We came forward one at a time, stated our names and our purpose and were nodded across the bridge. The leaders at the Wet’suwet’en camp allow allies through.

When contractors for the pipeline arrive at the bridge, the elders talk to each one and explain their position before they send them back. This land is unceded territory. No treaty has ever been signed. This protocol represents indigenous people’s stand for their nation against further industrialization of their birthright.

Over our five days, we were hosted magnificently by the Wet’suwet’en people. They danced and drummed for us, fed us a moose they’d hunted and salmon they’d caught. They taught us to make “Indian ice cream,” squeezing tiny sopallalie berries until they foamed pink.

We learned how industrialization has changed the land. The caribou, once plentiful, are gone; the forest we camped in is a spectre of dark spars due to the pine beetle. Few rivers in the area are safe to drink from. The Morice River is still pure, a resource the Wet’suwet’en are determined to protect. We heard straight talk about race relations, learning we each had to take to heart.

I was struck by the resolve of these people. The Unistoten, along with the Yinka Dene Alliance and Gitxsan traditional leadership, have taken a stand to protect their lands from further industrialization, a stand for the health and fruitfulness of generations to come.

Around campfires, we heard stories of shattered culture and personal grief – stories similar to those I’d heard at the Victoria peace and reconciliation process, but even more powerful there on the land. We watched kids passionate to dance with their elders, kids learning traditional skills almost lost, now being reclaimed.

I came away with the deepest respect for our hosts. They, like so many of us, oppose fracking for natural gas and diverting enormous quantities of fresh water to extract bitumen from oilsands, clearcuts and mines that devastate traditional lands, and turning Canada into a petrostate where democracy shrivels as foreign companies take the money and run.

Premier Christy Clark seems to think this is a showdown over profit share. She’s missed the point. This is no game. First Nations are deadly serious. Canada would be in better shape if our federal and provincial governments had half the vision of our hosts.

Unfortunately, as opposition to Enbridge builds, I see few signs that our federal government is listening. The joint review panel on the Enbridge proposal appears to be window dressing. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to ram these pipelines through, I fear a western Oka.

Back home, I can still taste the sharp sweetness of sopallalie ice cream and the richness of my first oolichan. These memories are a kind of trust. I challenge all of us who care deeply about the integrity of this great land to stand strong with northern First Nations who, following their protocol, stand on guard for themselves and for us.

Dorothy Field is a Victoria artist and writer.

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