We launched Pull Together back in 2014 under the tagline “Who knew stopping a pipeline could be so much fun?” People committed to defend our climate and stand with Indigenous Nations came up with amazing ways to organize, fundraise and donate.
Thanks to you, we raised over a million dollars, and built an incredible movement that stopped the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, defeating one of the biggest oil companies on the planet.
Thanks to unprecedented solidarity between Indigenous leaders and thousands of Pull Together allies, we backed legal challenges that resulted in the TransMountain project being quashed by Canadian courts, halting construction.
In August, 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the approval of Kinder Morgan, since renamed The TransMountain Expansion project (TMX). Because industry and government had failed to properly consult Indigenous Peoples, the court ordered a re-do of the consultation process.
The Canadian government has spent billions of dollars to buy out Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan, and have embarked on a second round of consultations with First Nations in the hopes that communities most affected by climate change will somehow approve of a plan to bring tar sands oil across B.C. and through the Salish Sea, increasing oil tanker traffic by 400%.
We won’t let this get built. Together with RAVEN, Sierra Club BC and the Force of Nature Alliance, we launched Pull Together vs TransMountain, using the same community fundraising strategy that beat Enbridge and now has TransMountain on the ropes.
Pull Together is a tangible way individuals, communities and businesses can provide financial support to First Nations legal cases and moral support to everyone on the front lines against this project.
Why can’t Indigenous Nations carry legal challenges on their own?
Indigenous Nations are clearly prepared to do what it takes to stop TMX. However, legal challenges are expensive. The federal government has deep pockets and will spare no expense in defending its interests, which now include ownership of the existing TransMountain pipeline. It is not unusual for external legal defence funds to be used when parties of lesser means go up against governments or big corporations. While these Indigenous Nations could go it alone, it would mean taking funding from critical community development initiatives and redirecting it into costly litigation. Standing together and pooling resources ensures equitable access to justice and gives Indigenous Nations a much more likely chance of success.
What is the money needed for?
The funds will assist the nations with the costs of preparing evidence, cross-examining witnesses, fighting motions to delay, and building legal arguments.
How is $50 going to help?
It’s simple: every little bit helps. Large numbers of people donating small amounts add up to large sums. The participation of thousands of people from all walks of life creates a groundswell that only keeps growing!
Where does the money go?
The funds are being held in trust for the four nations by RAVEN, an small-but-mighty organization with a focus on access to justice for Indigenous Nations. RAVEN stands for Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs. RAVEN will distribute funds equally between the nations involved. Fifteen per cent of the funds are held to cover the costs of running campaigns like this. As a non-profit, charitable organization, RAVEN issues tax receipts to donors in both Canada and the United States.
Can I donate to the other Indigenous Nations who have launched legal challenges?
Absolutely. Simply contact the nation you wish to support.
Why is Sierra Club BC involved in this initiative?
One of Sierra Club BC’s key priorities is to stop the TransMountain pipeline and defend BC’s south coast from the risk of oil spills. Sierra Club are focusing our efforts on supporting Indigenous Nations’ legal challenges, as we see First Nations standing up for our common future—for the land and water and climate we all depend on. Sierra Club BC is providing support to community members wishing to organize solidarity events. None of the money raised through Pull Together goes to Sierra Club BC.