A handful of people showed for the recent Enbridge Northern Gateway Project community information session. By all counts there were more people outside protesting the event then there were inside listening to the panel.
Seven people from the Lakes District Clean Waters Coalition, stood outside handing out information flyers. All of them declined the invitation to join Enbridge inside, finally two of the presenters came out to talk with coalition for the better part of an hour.
Another group of young Wet’suwet’en, and a youth representative from Lake Babine Nation, came together to demonstrate their opposition.
Carla Lewis, one of the organizers of the Enbridge protest said, “I am not an official spokesperson, but as a Wet’suwet’en person, I can safely say that all of our leaders and grassroots people are opposed to the Enbridge Gateway Project. Within international law, governments and companies should be seeking ‘Free, Prior, and Informed Consent’ for projects on unceded, Indigenous lands.
The people have clearly stated that this project is not in our best interests. The damages of this pipeline along with others seeking access to the coast along the proposed energy corridor are much too great of a risk. We are making every attempt possible to educate our youth on our traditional laws and values.By these standards, we do not have the “right” to make decisions like this that will impact humanity and the environment for an eternity.
Instead, we have the responsibility to protect the land for the next seven generations and beyond. With the cumulative impacts of industry and other forms of human stress on our eco-systems we cannot allow these pipelines to cut through these lands.
Furthermore, we have to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters who have fracking and tarsands in their backyards.”
She went on to say, “Through this action, we not only raised awareness amongst youth from our community, but we showed Enbridge and all of the passersby that a majority of people in Burns Lake are on our side. It was extremely uplifting to have so many people honking, waving, taking our pictures, and coming up to congratulate us.”
“There were even a few tourists from Germany who came to stand with us as we sang our traditional songs and held up our “No oil on Wet’suwet’en soil” banner and other anti-pipeline posters.
I believe we will stop the energy corridor in its tracks. It is simply a bad design from the tar sands and fracking, to the pipes, and the tankers. If we let this proceed, it will make us participants in the biggest environmental disaster in human history, even without equating a spill into the equation. If there is a spill, I can guarantee there will be more people of Burns Lake who will come out and stand knee deep in oil trying to save our birds and other animals that get stuck in the sludge. It makes more sense to come out now and try to prevent this from occurring,” she concluded.