This week, three First Nations are working to protect BC from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill. Arguing in favour of BC’s power to pass legislation to limit the transport of dirty oil, Indigenous Peoples are also emphasizing their rights to apply their own laws to federal oil projects.
Together with the Haida, the Heiltsuk were part of the first Pull Together campaign that successfully stopped Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project. Now, these nations are building on that power to stand up for communities along the path of another deadly tar sands pipeline.
The bitumen case throws another legal hurdle in the path of the Trans Mountain pipeline, currently in legal limbo after the legal challenges you supported through Pull Together led to the project being quashed by the federal Court of Appeals in 2018.
Indigenous Peoples are keeping the pressure on. In addition to this case, the Heiltsuk Nation have launched a legal challenge in the wake of the disastrous Nathan E. Stewart spill that dumped diesel directly into their fishing grounds.
The story of how the Heiltsuk are taking power back from regulators asleep at the wheel is told in a new documentary, “Raven People Rising”: the film screens this weekend in Seattle and on April 10 in Vancouver. Sign up here to organize a screening in your living room or out in your community.
Indigenous Nations have stood up, again and again, for all of us. Thank you for standing with us, and pulling together for future generations.