For the first time in Canadian history, First Nations, whose territory encompasses the entire coastline of British Columbia, have publicly united to oppose the transport of tar sands crude oil through their land.
Over 60 nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands oil pipelines throughout the Fraser River watershed, an area that was never ceded to the Canadian government, and therefore not legally under the government’s control.
“North or south, it makes no difference. First Nations from every corner of BC are saying absolutely no tar sands pipelines or tankers in our territories,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. “We have banned oil pipelines and tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the means at our disposal.”