Coastal First Nations

Coastal First Nations

October 16, 2012 11:51 ET

Coastal First Nations Call on Thousands of Members to Join Peaceful Act of Civil Disobedience in Victoria

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2012) - The Coastal First Nations are calling on their numerous members on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to participate in the Defend Our Coast sit-in against oil tankers and pipelines at the legislature in Victoria on October 22nd.

The Coastal First Nations have banned oil tankers from their territorial waters on the North and Central coasts of BC and Haida Gwaii.

"We are inviting all members to join in Victoria to participate in a peaceful act of civil disobedience, to send a strong message to the provincial and federal governments, that oil tankers are not welcome in BC," said Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations. "An oil spill would devastate our communities."

What started out as a regional issue has developed into the most pressing political issue in the province, and perhaps Canada, with polls showing strong opposition to pipelines and tankers.

"We welcome this surge of support from British Columbians across the province," said Sterritt. "It gives us hope that a different future is possible, not just for coastal communities, but for all of Canada. We have a clear choice: Either protect the coastal waters that sustain us, or put them at permanent risk of an oil spill so that a polluting, non-renewable resource can be exported through our province. It doesn't make sense."

More than 3500 people have signed an online pledge to take action in the Defend Our Coast sit-in on the front lawn of the B.C. legislature. In addition to the Coastal First Nations, participants will join representatives from some of the 132 Aboriginal communities from the north and south who have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, protecting the Fraser River from the threat of pipelines. Additionally, seven major unions, including the Canadian Energy and Paper workers Union, and the BC Federation of Teachers are supporting the sit-in.

The Coastal First Nations would like to thank the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations for welcoming them into their territory.

People can sign-up for Monday's event online at

Contact Information

  • Coastal First Nations
    Art Sterritt
    Executive Director