Indigenous fight against pipelines in B.C.
By: Tami Starlight
Written on unceded Coast Salish Territory. (Downtown Eastside)
There is a difference between “opinion” and “facts”, regarding the proposed oil and gas pipelines in BC and badly mismanaged resource extraction in general. Unfortunately the extraction industry, like Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, have a lot of financial clout. Relative to that is their influence on the media and some of the indigenous populations.
The indigenous struggle to maintain their cultural way of life is well documented. This continues with the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the current Kinder Morgan – Trans Mountain pipeline. Kinder Morgan has recently proposed to more than double the shipment of bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands Giga-project to the Burrard Inlet (settler name) where it will be pumped onto waiting tankers to be shipped to Asia.
These 2 massive projects related to the Alberta Tar Sands Giga-project are troubling even to the most seasoned activists, environmentalists, and the hereditary elders of the nations directly affected.
Enbridge’s “Northern Gateway” bid is to build two pipelines from Bruderheim, 60 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, along a 1,172-kilometre route to Kitimat on the B.C. coast.
So called “public hearings” have been held in multiple communities to date. I say “so called” because one needs to book attendance well in advance and that process is difficult at best. Every “public hearing” has been massively overcrowded and many could not attend due to lack of space. Over 130 indigenous communities have been quite vocal about their resistance to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
The federal government is now attempting to diminish public oversight over environmentally destructive projects with the “omnibus budget bill” – Bill C38. Protecting our communities’ air/water/land from corporations has become more difficult.
At the beginning of May, 2012, Enbridge spent millions on a public ad campaign designed to sway public opinion from a negative to positive view of the project.
Certainly public resistance has grown and will continue. We at the DT-East hope you all stay informed and be vocal about the resistance to the ramping up of corporate greed to extract every bit of resources in this colony called Kanata – in particular the push for the pipelines across native/first nations (unceded) territories.
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