Listen up: A First Nations message for the oil patch »

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

t a business conference in the Alberta Rockies last week, some of Canada’s heaviest hitters in energy offered their renditions of essentially the same tune. Market access was the topic, and the consensus among the premiers of Alberta and New Brunswick as well as bosses at the largest pipeline and oil companies was that we as a nation should have it. That means oil flowing to where it will fetch its highest price, whether that means the coasts of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico or Pacific. The result: jobs and a stronger economy across the country. A key reason for snags, they agreed, is opponents have swayed some of the public against their well-backed-up assertions that the oil sands are being developed responsibly, and the industry is bringing all available technology to bear in cutting carbon emissions and transporting the stuff safely.

Group sues over Harper limits on pipeline hearings »

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OTTAWA — A Vancouver-based environmental group is challenging the federal government’s limits on participation in hearings for projects such as Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline to ship bitumen crude from Alberta to British Columbia.  ForestEthics Advocacy, represented by prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby, filed an action in the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto on Tuesday seeking to have 2012 legislation limiting who can participate in hearings struck down as unconstitutional.

CSTC Unity on Pipelines »

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia.  Canada. It’s time that Premier Christy Clark meet with the CSTC Chiefs to discuss natural gas pipeline proposals impacting CSTC member First Nations territories.  The CSTC First Nations are unified and adamant that these natural gas pipeline projects will have a challenges ahead without our free, prior and informed consent.

Yinka Dene Alliance: Time for Enbridge to give up on Northern Gateway »

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Today, May 8, the Enbridge board of directors is meeting with shareholders in Calgary for the Enbridge annual general meeting. In the past, we, the chiefs of the Yinka Dene Alliance, have personally attended this meeting to explain to Enbridge senior management and shareholders why our communities have rejected the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project. We have decided not to be with you this time, but our message today, as always, is that this and any other oil pipeline will not cross our homelands in British Columbia.

CSTC Invites Dr. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues »

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia.  Canada. The Chiefs of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council have extended an invitation to Dr. James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues to come visit with the CSTC Chiefs and its members.  The CSTC request is part of several others from First Nations in BC and Canada, including a recent one from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).  There however seems to be a delay by the Government of Canada in processing the formalities needed by Dr. Anaya to visit First Nations peoples in Canada.

AFN Statement on the Appointment of Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastruct »

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

(Ottawa, ON) – “Without a doubt, recognizing First Nations’ rights and responsibilities and fully engaging First Nations is essential to achieving mutually beneficial approaches to sustainable resource development. Today’s announcement of a Special Representative to undertake direct discussion with First Nations while affirming the need for environmental protection and full respect for inherent and Treaty rights is a promising development. At the same time, the Government must be seized with the need for substantive change addressing outstanding land issues through comprehensive claims reform and treaty implementation. We will remain vigilant on this process and insist on the greatest possible engagement, openness and transparency to support First Nations rights and interests to be maximized.“

Who will protect the land from reckless development? »

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Several years ago, sitting in my office in Vancouver where I was heading up Ecotrust Canada — a west coast conservation and community development organization — I received a call from Alberta from a senior communications executive at Shell Canada.

Shell, at the time, was at the early stages of a coal bed methane exploration program in Northern British Columbia, specifically in Tahltan country, in and around Iskut. The natives, it seems, were restless. Shell had provincial permits to develop lands in a region called the Klappan, adjacent to the Spatsizi wilderness area, and had been trying to get trucks and drill rigs in place to pursue its legal authority to assay the abundant gas reserves there. It had sunk three test wells, but that’s as far as it got.