There has been much press about the BC and Alberta governments reaching an agreement on pipelines. Yesterday, BC Premier Clark and Alberta Premier Redford met and agreed about the five conditions that BC proposed before approving pipelines to being built in this province.
Both Premiers are quick to remind us that they were elected
Federal and provincial governments disregard Indigenous Title and Rights
Today, we unequivocally reject the Harper Government’s decision to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway tanker and pipelines project and First Nations will immediately go to court to vigorously pursue all lawful means to stop the Enbridge project.
We have governed our lands, in accordance to our Indigenous laws, since time immemorial. Our inherent Title and Rights and our legal authority over our respective territories have never been surrendered.
Last June, I spent three days in a Vancouver courtroom watching the Hupacasath First Nation argue their case against the federal government.
The Hupacasath came robed, just like the judges and the lawyers. They weren’t wigged-out like the Department of Justice benchmen. They wore cedar woven headbands and hummingbird embroidered regalia (and underneath, comfortable blue jeans).
On December 22 the National Energy Board recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, and some of the people who otherwise distrust government, want it out of the economy, and hate quasi-judicial independent appointed bla bla bla – are lining up to praise the probity and wisdom of the Joint Review Panel. Some of these folks are your friends and relatives. Some have a wider audience.
Enbridge public relations (PR)advisor Hill + Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has become the butt of jokes because of those wildly distorting animation maps for the Northern Gateway pipeline/tanker route and its bungled handling of Enbridge’s 2010 Kalamazoo disaster. But while TV viewers laugh at the tagline – “It’s more than a pipeline, it’s our path to the future” – H+K is ably earning its multimillion-dollar fees from Enbridge and other energy clients through its skill in government relations alone.
Michael Coates, Canadian CEO and Chair of H+K, is reportedly well-regarded by the Harper government, having