U.S. and Canada-Wide Protests Target Pacific Trails’ Proposed Fracking Pipeline

Unist’ot’en people say ‘no’ to pipelines in northern British Columbia by John Bonnar, November 27, 2012, rabble.ca
Protesters staged a rally in front of RBC headquarters in Toronto on Tuesday to proclaim their support for the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in its struggle against pipelines in Northern BC and to insist that RBC cease financing the Pacific Trails Pipelines, Enbridge Line 9 in Ontario and any other tar sands related project. … The Unist’ot’en, living in unceded territory in Northern BC, said they are against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan’s northern proposal, Pacific Trails, Pembina, Spectra, and other pipeline projects. The Pacific Trails project is a 463 kilometre pipeline connecting a liquified natural gas terminal in Kitimat to Summit Lake near Prince George in northeastern BC with a goal of transporting up to 1 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, extracted through hydraulic fracturing of shale gas, to international markets. On November 20, the Unist’ot’en Camp website reported that “Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company, working for Apache’s proposed shale gas Pacific Trails Pipeline. “In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass.” The surveyors were ordered to leave the territory and the road entering into the territory has been closed to all industry activities until further notice. “I have invoked the Wet’suwet’en Inuk nu’ot’en (Law) called Bi Kyi Wa’at’en (Responsibility of a husband to respectfully use and protect his wife’s territory) to issue a trespass notice to Pipeline workers on her sovereign territory,” said Toghestly.  “My Clan’s territory called Lho Kwa (Clore River) is located behind the Unist’ot’en territory adjacent to the Coastal town of Kitimat and it is our responsibility to protect our territory as well. We will be stopping all proposed pipelines.” The Unist’ot’en have established a permanent community along the Widzin Kwa (Morice River) directly in the path of the proposed “energy corridor” and “made their opposition extremely clear.”

Freda Huson, spokeswoman for the Unist’ot’en Clan, said “PTP does not have permission to be on our territory. It’s unceded land. We said “NO!” in their meetings. “We’ve written them letters; I’ve sent them emails, saying “absolutely NO!” to their projects. Consider it trespass when you enter our territory without permission. You’ve received your warning. Don’t come back!” Following the trespass notice, the Unist’ot’en called for solidarity rallies on Tuesday across the country and internationally. “This is to show the strength of their networks and there are a lot people aware of their struggle that support them,” said Saunders. “We want Apache to know that they have to back off, go through the right protocols and respect that the Unist’ot’en people don’t want pipelines through their territory.”

Pacific Trails Pipeline is a $1 billion partnership between Apache Canada, Encana Corporation and Enron Oil and Gas Resources. RBC, one of the largest financiers of pipelines projects, is a major investor in Encana.

Around 11:30 am, the protesters read out a letter from Unist’ot’en spokesperson Freda Huson in which she issued a warning of trespass to the companies associated with the Pacific Trails Pipelines project, including RBC. The group then tried to make it’s way inside the RBC building to deliver a copy of Huson’s letter, but were stooped by security and police. A while later, a representative from RBC corporate communications came out and accepted the letter from spokesperson Taylor Flook on behalf of the company. “No pipelines on stolen native lands,” chanted the protesters.

U.S. and Canada-Wide Protests Target Pacific Trails’ Proposed Fracking Pipeline by David P. Ball, November 27, 2012, Indian Country Today Media Network.com
Activists in Canada, the U.S. and all the way to Trinidad and Tobago are staging protests on November 27 in support of a blockade against a natural gas pipeline and fracking project  in northern British Columbia. The demonstrations—planned for California, every major Canadian city, and outside Canada’s embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago—come a week after hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation evicted surveyors working on the route of the planned Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). Wet’suwet’en eviction procedures were followed: Surveyors were presented with an eagle feather to surveyors, a traditional warning to remove trespassers from a nation’s traditional territory. Contractors’ equipment was also confiscated.

“If the Pacific Trails Pipeline decides to push their agenda, along with the federal government and provincial government, to try to force this pipeline through our lands, they’re going to continue to meet us, and we’re going to keep resisting them,” Toghestiy, a hereditary chief of Wet’suwet’en nation, told Indian Country Today Media Network. “If they decide to escalate it, we’ll have to do the same. It’s something that we don’t want to do, but if they’re not willing to sit down and have meaningful consultation with our hereditary chiefs, and with the Wet’suwet’en people, then they’re going to be meeting a lot of resistance up here.”

Every day the planned pipeline would transport one million cubic feet of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. … The route spans 290 miles from Summit Lake, B.C., to coastal Kitimat, which is also the destination of the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. … The new blockade is on lands of the Wet’suwet’en’s Big Frog (Unist’ot’en) clan. PTP is a partnership of Canadian subsidiaries of Apache Corporation and Enron Oil and Gas (EOG) Resources, both based in Houston, Texas. Apache insists it has the support of First Nations along its route. “We understand that there are some members of the Unist’ot’en who have expressed some concerns, and we continue to consult with First Nations along the entire proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline route, including the Unist’ot’en,” Apache spokesperson Paul Wyke told ICTMN. “The Pacific Trail Pipeline continues to benefit from strong First Nations’ involvement and support for the proposed project. Fifteen of 16 First Nations along the proposed PTP right-of-way support the project.”

But Toghestiy criticized what he said is a decision to ignore hereditary, or traditional, leadership, instead seeking the support of tribal councils. Citing the Delgamuukw case upholding Aboriginal rights and title in Canada’s Supreme Court of Canada, Toghestiy vowed to continue blocking PTP. “The company continues to ignore the hereditary people,” he said. “Instead of dealing with the hereditary people, they decided to deal with the Indian Act government—the people elected into positions that are dependent on federal dollars—to come into the community. These councils don’t have any rights outside of the reservations. That’s why we’re here.” … “When we come together to protect the land, we are doing it for all of our future generations,” she said in a November 26 statement. “This government and all of industry needs to understand that no means no. We will not sacrifice our lands, cultures, and children for their greed.” [Emphasis added]

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