About 50 First Nations from across Canada and the Northern United States signed a treaty today, pledging to stand against Alberta oil sands expansion.
The “Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sand Expansion” names the five major pipelines being proposed (see image below). Tar sands rail projects in Atlantic Canada are also named.
The treaty states that the First Nations will “collectively challenge” the use of their traditional territories for “the expansion of the production of the Alberta tar sands… whether by pipeline, rail or tanker.”
Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee says the Canada is at cross-roads and struggling with the challenge of the environment vs the economy.
“We are seeing climate change happen all over the world, and it has a price. I think that’s the fundamental question that Canadians have to ask themselves; of how this economy needs to change to an economy that’s more friendly to the environment and more green.”
He added that indigenous people are at a watershed moment for asserting their rights.
Teegee says the treaty started within the Yinka Dene Alliance, which includes the Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Takla Lake, Saik’uz, and Tl’azt’en First Nations, who initially joined forces to fight the Northern Gateway project.
The Office of the Wet’suwet’en also pledged support.