Two years ago, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline was defeated.
Against all odds, seven courageous First Nations took the risk of launching legal actions to take on a huge company and a federal government bent on building a pipeline to the coast. And: they won.
The Pull Together community grew out of people’s love for the land and for the communities that were at risk. At the time, nobody expected that we would raise close to $700k in defence of a tanker free coast.
From the grassroots and the frontlines, Pull Together unleashed the full force of creativity and passion that drives our movement. We could not have done it without you . You held dinner parties. Hosted concerts. Did yoga. You made soap, beer, hot sauce and chocolate bars. Who knew stopping a pipeline would be so much fun?!?
The legal challenges Pull Together supported forced the government to revoke Enbridge’s permit. Indigenous Peoples proved that they were not consulted or accommodated about a project that would irreversibly alter the territories upon which they govern. They were up against a pro-oil Harper government and a determined company that would not have given up had this incredible community not showed up and stood firm on the side of justice.
June 20th is a day of celebration for all of us who worked so hard to protect our communities from the disaster of Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers project. Our strategy was solid and together, we won.
Now: we’re going to do it again.
People are outraged that their tax dollars are being spent to buy an outdated, overvalued pipeline in an era when we should be using our collective power to transition off of fossil fuels. This is a powerful moment, where we can build real power in our movement — if people understand that the same legal forces that stopped Enbridge are also arrayed against Kinder Morgan.
Here’s what you need to tell your community —
1. First Nations are on a winning streak in this country’s courts. In case after case, judges are siding with Indigenous Peoples as Constitutional rights are upheld.
2. The Canadian government has a duty to consult First Nations. They failed. The consultation team did not engage in a two-way dialogue that was required. The consultation team could only take notes and pass them along to Cabinet. The “one-way street” process repeated the fatal errors that caused the cancellation of Enbridge.
3. Despite Coldwater Nation’s request that the pipeline be re-routed to avoid the community’s aquifer, not a single condition was changed or added following consultation. Coldwater argued that the failure to consider a new route for the pipeline was an error, demonstrating that Canada was not prepared to engage or accommodate with an open mind.
Despite First Nations having justice on their side, Kinder Morgan won’t go down without a fight. Our federal government is desperate to keep this doomed project afloat. Sadly, even if the upcoming decision by the Federal Court favours Indigenous Nations, the government will likely appeal. We’re building up a legal war chest so we’re ready for that possibility, and we’re inviting you to donate, fundraise, and commit to organizing events should we need to go another round in the courts.
The fact is, Indigenous legal challenges have always been, and remain, the biggest obstacle to this project being built. The Pull Together community have shown again and again a spirit of generosity and courage. With allies like this, how can you not feel like you’re going to win?
Thank you for stepping up so that First Nations can stand strong, for now and for future generations. This is a long fight but we know that, just like the defeat of Enbridge that we’re celebrating, it will end in victory.
Happy anniversary and pass it on!