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Excerpt: "On Tuesday three First Nations announced their lawsuit over a massive pipeline project recently approved for Canada’s West Coast."

St'at'imc bear dancer Jackie Andrew of Lil'wat First Nation during a protest of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline in Vancouver, Canada. (photo: Reuters)
St'at'imc bear dancer Jackie Andrew of Lil'wat First Nation during a protest of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline in Vancouver, Canada. (photo: Reuters)


'It’s Our Standing Rock': First Nations Sue Canadian Government

By teleSUR

18 January 17

 

On Tuesday three First Nations announced their lawsuit over a massive pipeline project recently approved for Canada’s West Coast

n Tuesday chiefs from the Coldwater Indian Band, the Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish First Nation announced they were launching a lawsuit against the Canadian government and a pipeline company over a recently approved pipeline project on Canada’s West coast.

"It is our Standing Rock," said Coldwater Indian Band Chief Leo Spahan in reference to the CDN$6.8-billion, 700 mile Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension which intends to transport highly toxic tar-sands oil from Alberta to the coastal province of British Columbia, where it will be exported to Asian markets. “It’s about our drinking water,” added Spahan.

In November the Trudeau government announced its approval of the highly controversial project over the objections of dozens of First Nations and warnings by a government appointed environmental review committee saying the project was too dangerous.

"We talk about an era of reconciliation but we do not see the actions that go with that," said Squamish First Nation Chief Ian Campbell. "The old status quo will no longer be acceptable — that of a colonial imposition to ride roughshod over Aboriginal rights and title within our own lands and waters."

Justin Trudeau came to power last fall on widely acclaimed platform promising to implement the U.N.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP, which requires the “full, prior, and informed consent” of any infrastructure projects affecting the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

"The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline was built through our reserve and above our aquifer at a time when it was illegal for us to vote or hire a lawyer ...The Crown's decision to put our drinking water at risk...is profoundly troubling," added Campbell.

Last week the provincial government of British Columbia announced that it too would approve the project over the objections of First Nations, after it reached its own 20 year agreement with Kinder Morgan who promised to invest up to CDN$1 billion in the province.

"We do not consent to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in our territory. We are asking the court to overturn the federal cabinet's decision to approve this project," said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas in a press-release.

The announcement of the lawsuit comes one day after two activists lured the famously selfie-addicted Trudeau into reiterating his pledge to fully adopt UNDRIP.

Trudeau is on a national “listening tour” in an attempt to salvage his quickly deteriorating popularity and restore what credibility he has left after multiple attempts to walk back key election pledges. Students activists Alex Ayton and Kathleen Olds asked for a selfie with the Prime Minister and caught him by surprise while they recorded his answer to their question, “were you planning on implementing UNDRIP?”

“Absolutely,” replied Trudeau.

The lawsuit is a sign of just how much weight Trudeau’s word carries these days.

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+10 # DongiC 2017-01-18 10:54
It's white money vs Native American rights,
and, pipelines for oil transport vs water for drinking. Environmentalis ts are on the side of the tribal people, and, perhaps, veterans will join in. What a fight is coming.
 
 
+1 # treerapper 2017-01-19 05:03
Pretty boy Trudeau is definitely one who speak with forked tongue. There needs to be a monstrous pushback against the perpetual defiling of Tribal Lands and the resulting decimation of our environment.

Write Trudeau and tell him what you think of his anti-First Nations policies.
https://pm.gc.ca/eng/connect
 

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