The Squamish are a Coast Salish people and speak the Squamish language. The Squamish Nation has existed and prospered within their traditional territory in the Lower Mainland since time immemorial. The Squamish have never ceded or surrendered title to their lands, rights to their resources or the power to make decisions within their territory. The Squamish continue to occupy their territory, and harvest resources throughout Burrard Inlet, Howe Sound, the Capilano River and the Fraser River. The Squamish are protectors of the Salish Sea and rely heavily on the marine and freshwater resources within their territory to practice their Aboriginal rights, lifeways and culture. As part of their stewardship role, the Squamish have been actively restoring marine and land-based habitats on their territory. Their efforts would be seriously undermined by the Kinder Morgan project and the proposed increase in marine shipping and storage of diluted bitumen that comes with it.
Why does Squamish Nation oppose Kinder Morgan?
The proposed marine terminal and other Kinder Morgan infrastructure would be located in the heart of Squamish territory and their home. In particular, Seymour Creek reserve, at the entrance to Burrard Inlet, is close to the Westridge Marine Terminal. The Kinder Morgan project would mean a significant increase in shipping in Squamish waters. While the Kinder Morgan project is often billed as an “expansion”, it will actually cut new routes through Squamish territory. It will also require the dismantling of the current Westridge Marine Terminal and the building of an entirely new, much larger terminal. The Squamish rely on their lands and waters to support their people, culture and way of life. The Kinder Morgan project will encroach on areas that contain burial sites, ancestral villages, and important fish, game and plant harvesting areas. Due to the density and significance of the cultural and spiritual values in these areas, the lands and waters there are very sensitive to further industrial development.