Historic signing joins First Nations opposed to pipeline expansion in an unbroken chain from the U.S. border to the Arctic Ocean
NORTH VANCOUVER, July 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Today the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
celebrated its connection to the waters of Burrard Inlet and honoured
the work of the Yinka Dene Alliance during a ceremony at its
traditional village of Whey-Ah-Wichen. Following the ceremony,
Tsleil-Waututh Nation added its name to the Alliance's Save the Fraser Declaration.
The Save the Fraser Declaration is an Indigenous law ban on tar sands pipelines through First Nations
traditional territories. It also bans tar sands oil tankers in the
ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon on the north and south
coasts of British Columbia. To date, the Declaration has been signed by
more than 100 First Nations, forming an unbroken chain from the U.S.
border to the Arctic Ocean.
"Tsleil-Waututh stands together with First Nations and all British
Columbians who do not support pipeline expansion and increased tanker
traffic," says Chief Justin George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "As People
of the Inlet, it is our birthright and obligation to care for the lands
and waters of our territory. Pipeline expansion is a risk too great to
"We welcome Tsleil-Waututh's signing of the Declaration. First Nations
across B.C. are saying absolutely no oil pipelines or tankers in our
territories," said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik'uz First Nation, a
member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. "We have banned oil pipelines and
tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the
means at our disposal."
Tsleil-Waututh Nation has publicly opposed Kinder Morgan's proposed
expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the terminus of which is on
Tsleil-Waututh territory on the south shore of Burrard Inlet in
Burnaby. The expansion would more than double current pipeline capacity1, potentially resulting in an oil tanker per day entering Burrard Inlet.
Kinder Morgan recently filed a commercial tolling application with the
National Energy Board. The application relates to the approval of the
contract terms and toll structure that would be implemented on the
proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Tsleil-Waututh Nation will
act as an intervenor in the application process.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation experienced first-hand the impacts of a Kinder
Morgan oil spill when, in 2007, a spill at the company's Westridge
Terminal discharged approximately 234,000 litres of oil2 into Burrard Inlet and the surrounding environment. Another oil spill
has the potential to destroy the marine environment that has sustained
Tsleil-Waututh people for thousands of years. Already much of the
marine life in the Inlet is not harvestable due to pollution in the
Tsleil-Waututh Nation supports sustainable business in its territory and
strives to create a healthy sustainable economy for its community.
Tsleil-Waututh has invested in TWN Wind Power, a renewable energy
business that offers communities throughout North America an
opportunity to generate clean energy through small wind power.
"This is not just a Tsleil-Waututh issue or an aboriginal rights issue.
This is an issue that could impact everyone's quality of life," says
Chief Justin George. "Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and
livable cities in the world. For the community as a whole, there is
just too much at stake to allow such a project to proceed."
About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish
community of approximately 500 members located along the shores of
Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For more information
please visit www.twnation.ca.
1 Kinder Morgan website http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=93621&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1710795&highlight=
2 BC Ministry of the Environment website http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2007/burnaby_oil_spill_07.htm
Image with caption: "Robbie George and his son, Cassius, of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, stand along the shores of Burrard Inlet prior to the Nation's signing of the Save the Fraser Declaration. Photo by James Maclennan (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120708_C6924_PHOTO_EN_16073.jpg
Image with caption: "Gabe George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Traditional Speaker, leads a ceremony prior to the Nation's signing of the Save the Fraser Declaration. Photo by James Maclennan (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120708_C6924_PHOTO_EN_16072.jpg
Image with caption: "Chief Justin George, Qut-same, of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, signs the Save the Fraser Declaration opposing tar sands pipelines through First Nations territories. Photo by James Maclennan (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120708_C6924_PHOTO_EN_16071.jpg
SOURCE Tsleil-Waututh Nation
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