NADLEH WHUT'EN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 27, 2012) - First Nations are speaking out against Premier Christy Clark's attention-grabbing plan to approve the Enbridge pipelines and tankers in exchange for payments from Alberta. The Yinka Dene Alliance, a group of five First Nations in BC's interior who hold more than 25% of the proposed pipeline route in their territories, are leading opponents of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project. The Yinka Dene and over 100 other First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration calling upon their own Indigenous Laws to place a ban on Pipelines and Tankers throughout the Fraser River watershed and the migration routes of the Fraser River Salmon.
"You can't put a price tag on our future. The Premier's sales job shows how little she has listened to us. It should be very clear to her by now that this Pipeline will not be built," said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. "It is against our own laws for this project to proceed and our Rights and Title can't be sold."
The BC government recently announced its five requirements that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines needs to meet in order to obtain provincial approval. Among these was the requirement for the Rights and Title of First Nations to be addressed and be able to participate in the project. However, First Nations all over BC have rejected the project outright.
"It is absolutely unacceptable for our Premier to play a game of "the Price is Right" while putting our lands, our waters and our futures at risk to devastating oil spills," said Terry Teegee, Tribal Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. "The Premier is putting on a show because she's under political pressure and needs votes, but her actions have very real consequences for us here on the land. This is our lives, the well-being of our families that she is playing with. We won't let her sell our lands out from under us."
Chief Louie added: "Clark has admitted that BC will take 100 percent of the risks from tankers and most of the pipeline risk. For her to turn around the next day and start bargaining for royalties - that's knowingly trying to sell all British Columbians out. This project is not in Canada's best interest and it's not in our best interest. First Nations, municipalities, and a majority of British Columbians want nothing to do with Enbridge's dangerous project, and the Premier is way out of touch with the people on this issue."