Pull Together

November 13, 2014 13:48 ET

Despite Federal Approval, Opposition to Enbridge's Northern Gateway Keeps Growing

Fast-Growing Grassroots Fundraising Campaign Supports BC First Nations Legal Muscle Against Enbridge

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 13, 2014) - The Pull Together campaign to support First Nations legal challenges against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is growing steadily and has raised more than $200,000 in four months.

Today, the Haida Nation announced they have joined Pull Together, the sixth First Nation to do so. Funds raised through the Pull Together campaign help support the legal challenges against Northern Gateway that have been launched by the Haida, Gitxaala, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai'xais, Nadleh Whut'en and Nak'azdli Nations.

"The Pull Together campaign is driven by people who care and are politically astute," said kil tlaats 'gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation. "They can see how the future of the country is shaping up and want to be part of it."

"British Columbians do not want First Nations to stand alone against Enbridge and they're demonstrating this with passion, creativity and their wallets," said Sierra Club BC campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon. "It's incredible to think that Pull Together began in the summer with a community group in Terrace raising $2,000, and now we have raised a hundred times that."

Started by community groups in northern BC, the campaign has been so successful it is increasing its fundraising goal from $250,000 to $300,000 by December 31.

Pull-Together.ca is managed by Sierra Club BC in partnership with Victoria-based legal defence fund RAVEN Trust to enable residents from across BC and Canada to make donations and hold fundraising events in support of First Nation legal challenges. All monies raised are being matched by an anonymous donor.

So far, volunteers from across BC have organized or planned more than 50 community events. There are more than 30 participating businesses, almost 100 online fundraisers and more than 1,000 individual donors.

Highlights include:

  • Global corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org raised more than $40,000 for the campaign from among their 650,000 Canadian members
  • More than 25 yoga studios are participating in the "Stretch across BC Challenge" in November, led by the Moksha chain who alone have raised more than $8,500 to date
  • Jess Housty, a Heiltsuk councillor, was married on Oct 18 and asked wedding guests to donate to Pull Together instead of giving gifts, raising more than $5,700
  • The community of Pender Island on Sunday raised more than $4,000 with a concert featuring Mae Moore and Daniel Lapp
  • The United Church of Canada is fundraising from its congregations nationwide throughout the month of November

"This is an extensive, costly legal process. The next stage involves gathering all of the evidence required for the Nations to make their cases at Court," said Susan Smitten, executive director of RAVEN. "While the Nations are committed to going it alone, standing together and pooling resources with all British Columbians ensures equal access to justice and a successful outcome with much more likelihood of success."

The pull-together.ca website offers people the option to donate directly, fundraise online among their networks of friends and neighbours, or organize community fundraising events. Sierra Club BC is offering training and support to individuals and community groups interested in hosting fundraising events.

British Columbians and anyone interested in supporting these nations can join the campaign by going to www.pull-together.ca.

Contact Information

  • Simon Davies
    Haida Nation

    Caitlyn Vernon
    Sierra Club BC

    Susan Smitten
    RAVEN Trust

    Emma Pullman

    Other participating Nations can be reached as follows:
    Acting Chief Clarence Innis
    Gitxaala Nation

    Chief Marilyn Slett
    Heiltsuk Nation

    Chief Fred Sam
    Nak'azdli Nation

    Lisa Fong and Julia Hincks
    Legal counsel representing
    Kitasoo/Xai'xais and Heiltsuk Nations