NEWS RELEASE · 14th December 2012
Yinka Dene Alliance
Opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project continued to gain momentum today as the Tahltan Central Council, the Tahltan Band Council and the BC Metis Federation signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, an indigenous law declaration banning tar sands pipelines and tankers from crossing British Columbia, signed by over 130 First Nations.
At the same time, Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaimed "Save the Fraser Declaration Day" in the City of Vancouver, recognizing the solidarity between the City and First Nations who depend on an oil-free coast and Fraser River for the health of their communities.
"Our opposition has grown in strength as more Indigenous Nations sign on in support of the Save the Fraser Declaration," said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whu'ten First Nation. "Our traditional governance and laws have guided our nations for thousands of years. Our rights are protected under Section 35 of the Constitution. We will not allow the Government to impose the Enbridge pipeline and tankers on us, and we are glad to know that the City of Vancouver is standing with us against this threat, because we all depend on keeping these waters free from oil spills."
Mayor Gregor Robertson presented the Proclamation to the Yinka Dene Alliance - the group of six First Nations who led the creation of the Save the Fraser Declaration in December 2010. The City's Proclamation states that oil pipelines and tankers pose unacceptable risks to Vancouver's economy and environment, and that citizens and First Nations will benefit from working together to protect communities from oil spills.
"We've always said that we are not just fighting to protect our own First Nations communities from oil pipelines and tankers, but rather that we are fighting to protect every woman, man and child in B.C., no matter where they live," said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik'uz First Nation. "The Enbridge project puts our food sources and water at risk from the threat of oil spills that can never be cleaned up. We will not allow that to happen and we are glad to know that cities and towns in BC are standing with us against this threat. Together, we will stop these pipelines and tankers."
Over the past three years, over 130 First Nations have joined together to oppose tar sands pipelines and tankers in BC, as many municipalities and the Union of BC Municipalities - representing all of BC's cities and towns - have declared their strong opposition to these projects.
The Yinka Dene Alliance is made up of Nadleh Whut'en, Nak'azdli, Takla Lake, Saik'uz, Wet'suwet'en and T'lazt'en First Nations.
Save the Fraser Declaration attached.