MORICETOWN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2011) - Thirteen Chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation say they are united like never before in their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and they are issuing the following rallying call to allies and fellow First Nations:
We feel compelled to address our many friends and supporters in the fight to resist the pressures of the tar sands. It comes as no surprise to us that oil barons are attempting to use money to drive a wedge between the more than 130 Nations who stand united in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline.
We are very familiar with the 'divide and conquer' strategies of industry and governments, but we stand firm in resisting these pressures. There is a lot at stake in this fight - from First Nations in the Athabascan/Mackenzie watershed who are suffering from the chronic consequences of tar sands development, to the BC coast, where the threat of oil tankers threatens the waters of the Coastal First Nations.
Wet'suwet'en territory encompasses the headwaters of the Fraser watershed and major tributaries of the Skeena watershed (Morice/Bulkley River), which feed BC's most vibrant salmon fisheries. Enbridge's proposed pipeline route will rip the heart out of our traditional lands and place our functioning ecosystems in dire peril.
This pipeline proposal does not meet the need of current and future Wet'suwet'en people. This decision was made through a series of clan meetings held with Wet'suwet'en people using our traditional laws. Today we continue to stand firm in our opposition to Enbridge.
For the Wet'suwet'en, we will not risk our culture and livelihood for a few petro dollars.
Regarding the internal conflict currently being experienced by our Gitxsan cousins, we feel deeply for you. We remain committed to continued collaboration in our fight against the Enbridge tar sands pipeline. This is merely the beginning of a lengthy fight and collectively we must remain steadfast, and honourable and stay the course.
The Wet'suwet'en have a history of collaboration. We jointly worked with the Gitxsan Chiefs in the historic Delgamuukw/Gisdayway court case. We supported the Tsilhqot'in First Nation's fight against the Prosperity Mine proposal and the destruction of Fish Lake. We are supporting the Tahltan First Nation in their opposition to Royal Dutch Shell's attempt to develop coalbed methane in the Sacred Headwaters. We are interveners in the Hul'qumi'num petition to the Inter-American Petition on Human Rights.
United above all else and we shall win this battle. Be strong friends!