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UPDATE: Council of Canadians backs Unist’ot’en clan opposition to pipelines

Today is an international day of action in support of the Unist’ot’en clan and their opposition to pipelines that would cross their territory.

On November 22, the Canadian Press reported, “Members of a First Nation in northern British Columbia have evicted surveyors working on a natural gas pipeline project from their territory, seized equipment and set up a roadblock against all pipeline activity. A group identifying itself as the Unis’tot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation said surveyors for Apache Canada’s Pacific Trails Pipeline were trespassing. ‘The Unis’tot’en clan has been dead-set against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include PTP (Pacific Trails Pipeline), Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and many others,’ Freda Huson, a spokesperson for the group, said in a statement. …The blockading group said the province does not have the right to approve development on their traditional lands, which lie northwest of Kitimat, the future home of an Apache Canada liquefied natural gas plant and the tanker port for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.”

In the media release issued for today’s day of action, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow is quoted saying, “The Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and the Pacific Trails Pipelines would put the economic interests of industry ahead of people and communities. These pipelines would add more tanker traffic to BC’s pristine coastlines, expand fracking and tar sands industries, increase climate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and violate First Nations rights to hunt, trap, and fish on their land and to make decisions about the future of their traditional territories. We need to do everything we can to turn the tap off to these pipelines.”

Yesterday, Council of Canadians energy campaigner Maryam Adrangi wrote in a campaign blog, “We are supporting is the Unis’tot’en clan’s call to resist the Pacific Trails Pipeline, a pipeline which would transport fracked gas from northeastern BC to the Pacific Coast. This pipeline would blaze a trail for further pipeline development by logging and creating infrastructure for other proposals such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s alternative northern route for their Trans Mountain pipeline, Spectra Energy, and others. Members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have said ‘NO’ to all pipelines and in the past week members of both the Unis’tot’en and Gidimt’en clans have had to evict pipeline surveyors contracted out by Apache Corporation.”

The Council of Canadians endorsed today’s day of action, encouraged our supporters and chapter activists to participate in the eleven actions that took place across the country today, and will be making a contribution of $1,000 to ongoing Unist’ot’en clan efforts against the pipelines.