Yinka Dene Alliance

December 16, 2010 12:27 ET

Oil Sands: First Nations Reject Enbridge's Pipeline Equity Offer, CEO & Board of Directors Served With Legal Declaration Banning Company

"Our lands and waters are not for sale, not at any price."

NADLEH WHUT'EN, DAKELH TERRITORIES, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - The Yinka Dene Alliance, a group of five First Nations with territories along and near the proposed route of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, have rejected Enbridge's offer of an equity stake in the project, and have instead served a legal Declaration on Enbridge's headquarters in Calgary stating that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines are not allowed through their territories, according to ancestral laws.

The Declaration was agreed to on December 2 by representatives of 61 First Nations, and because the document has legal status, it was delivered by a process server directly to Enbridge's CEO Pat Daniel and Enbridge's board of directors. The Declaration was previously left at the locked door of Enbridge's Vancouver offices when employees refused to let two representatives of the First Nations enter.

A copy of the declaration is available at http://www.savethefraser.ca/.

"Our lands and waters are not for sale, not at any price," said Chief Larry Nooski of Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, speaking as a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance that includes Nadleh Whut'en, Nak'azdli, Takla Lake, Saik'uz and Wet'suwet'en First Nations. "We want no part of Enbridge's project and their offers are worthless to us when compared to the importance of keeping our lands, rivers and the coast free of crude oil spills. What Enbridge is offering is the destruction of our lands to build their project, and the risk of oil spills for decades to come which could hurt everyone's kids and grandkids."

The proposed pipeline will cut through unceded lands and rivers and place communities, fish and wildlife at risk from oil spills.

"Enbridge talks about having the so-called "support of First Nations," but I don't know of a single First Nation that supports them. There are over 80 nations that have come out against their pipelines and tankers," said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik'uz First Nation. "In the last month, the number of First Nations publicly opposed to this pipeline has tripled. The money they are offering can be put to better use by restoring the land they have already harmed in Alberta, Michigan and elsewhere." 

Chief Art Adolph of Xaxli'p, a community of the St'át'imc Nation whose territories cover the middle and southern parts of the Fraser watershed, added: "Enbridge has pointed to 30 'protocol agreements' signed with Indigenous Nations and claims support for their pipelines. In fact, Enbridge's public documents show that these agreements do not indicate support but simply "establish the ground rules and points of contact for discussion on all aspects of the Northern Gateway project that might affect or involve First Nations and Métis communities."

There is no First Nation that has publicly supported this project.

Contact Information

  • Nadleh Whut'en First Nation
    Chief Larry Nooski
    Saik'uz First Nation
    Chief Jackie Thomas
    Xaxli'p - St'at'imc Nation
    Chief Art Adolph