Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heiltsuk Nation Rejects Enbridge Northern Gateway Proposal

© Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

This summer, the iLCP, a group of internationally renowned photographers took part in a RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and stunning marine biodiversity, it is one of the planet's most priceless treasures, but overseas oil interests wanting access to western Canada's tar sands, the second largest known oil reserves in the world, have put the region in threat, prompting the action of conservation groups and the iLCP. Throughout the next several months we'll be bringing you profiles, stories, statistics and photos to learn more about the region and why it's so crucial that we all work to protect it. Please follow along here on the iLCP blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

Oil tankers will never be allowed on B.C. North Coast, community tells Enbridge representatives

In a press release from Bella Bella yesterday, the Heiltsuk Nation was unequivocal when it told Enbridge Inc., the world's largest pipeline construction company, that they will never allow oil tankers on or near their traditional territory on the B.C. coast.

At a public meeting in Bella Bella, Enbridge representatives heard from the community's hereditary leadership, elected leadership, youth, elders and nearby residents their deeply felt and strong conviction to never allow crude oil tankers on the B.C. north coast.

Their concerns include risks to the marine environment, food security, livelihood, economy and culture.
© Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

"We will not change our position, we stand behind our coastal First Nation neighbours and the declaration that we all signed that ban oil tankers on our coast," Marilyn Slett, elected Chief Councilor of the Heiltsuk Nation, stated at the public forum. "We will never support the Enbridge project and we will never support a project that has the potential to destroy our way of life."

"Enbridge has severely underestimated the resolve and commitment that the Heiltsuk Nation possess when it involves protecting their traditional territory." said Ian McAllister, local resident and Conservation Director of Pacific Wild.

"Our relationship to our land and waters is sacred and when it comes to the possibility of a massive oil spill our position is not negotiable." stated Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt

The Heiltsuk Nation calls on the Federal Government to protect BC coastal waters and legislate an oil tanker traffic moratorium.

Join them and take action here!

1 comment:

  1. This is a very positive news. I always support such movements where natives are involved in making decisions for their land, forest or the habitats they live in. Outside businesses are mostly there for their own self and would eventually leave after some major destruction or a slow death to the ecosystem they bring in.

    Whatever happened to Valdez Oil spill and the long gone justice ...!!