Marilyn Slett is the elected Chief of the Heiltkuk Tribal Council. She spoke with Sierra Club BC Campaigns Director Caitlyn Vernon about their legal challenge and the campaign.
A number of Nations have launched legal challenges against Enbridge, and the Heiltsuk was one of them. Why did your nation decide to launch a legal challenge against Enbridge?
Primarily our largest concern was the super tankers that would be travelling through our pristine waters and the likelihood of a catastrophic spill. This is something that our community just could not bear. Everything that we do as people is tied to the land and to the sea- our history, our stewardship, our culture, our livelihood. Who we are is tied to the land and sea, so we have a responsibility to be stewards of the territory.
We filed our lawsuit to protect our way of life for the future.
Consultation, and the government and the crown not consulting with us in an honourable way. And the other aspects would be environmental concerns.
Why should British Columbians help support this?
While its Heiltsuk and other Nations that are standing up and filing lawsuits, it’s really a global issue. It’s an issue that we all should be standing up to protect the land and the sea, we have that responsibility as human beings.
We have people supporting us, really good people, from all over the world. British Columbia doesn’t want to see this project. It’s a good feeling knowing that were standing together united in solidarity with British Columbians at large.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about donating?
Thank-you. We’re a small community, we’re doing what we can to stop this project. We don’t have the resources that big corporations do, or the government has, so every little bit helps. We’re just so grateful for people helping. Every dollar that’s raised will help our communities and help our people take this stand.