From Intercontinental Cry
March 20, Ottawa – Chiefs and hereditary leaders from ten First Nations with traditional territory in the tar sands and on tar sands pipeline routes in western and eastern Canada and the United States gathered in Ottawa today to deliver a clear and unified message: tar sands pipelines will not pass through their collective territories under any conditions or circumstances. The First Nations signed two historic agreements pledging their mutual support to one another in their respective battles to protect their lands, water and health from proposed tar sands projects.
“The International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects and Save the Fraser Declaration” are rapidly gaining international support across Canada, the US and beyond. Whether or not Prime Minister Harper or President Obama approves the Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, the Keystone KL or the Enbridge Line 9 pipelines, they will not pass through our collective Aboriginal Territories under any conditions or circumstances,” said Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Ihanktonwan Dakota signatory of the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects, whose traditional lands include the ecologically sensitive Ogallala aquifer along the route of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Representatives of the Yinka Dene Alliance, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the Yankton Sioux Nation and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation stood together to demand a cap to tar sands production and say no to further projects.
“Forcing these projects through would contravene our Indigenous laws and our decision-making rights under the Canadian constitution and international law. We have said no, and we call on the Canadian government to recognize and respect our decisions,” said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, which lies in the path of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.