First Nation “Days of action” campaign begins
Posted: 29 Sep 2008 10:23 PM CDT
Centered on ushering in “a new era of first nations relations with the Crown,” the “days of action” campaign is now officially underway. On Sunday, “protesters representing Treaty 4 First Nations brought traffic on Highway 1 east of Regina to a crawl and barricaded the road leading into a pipeline construction compound,” reports the Saskatchewan News Network. Lasting for about half an hour, the protesters moved and set up a camp at the intersection leading into the Waschuk Pipeline site, just west of White City. “We’re going to be 24/7 occupation here and we will remain as such until we believe we have some commitments,” stated Treaty 4 spokesperson Edmund Bellegarde. “We will take as long as is necessary to get the proper parties to the table, being the federal and provincial governments and the industry players.” “We’re hoping to keep the lines of communication open with all of the government agencies and law enforcement officials. We want to make sure that we’re peaceful, peaceful in our actions and our activities, and we want to insure that that is kept throughout the whole process here,” Bellegarde continued. Following Sunday’s action, there was another demonstration today, about 100 km east of Saskatoon. Led by Red Pheasant First Nation Chief Sheldon Wuttunee, roughly 60 Indigenous people marched through Kerrobert to protest the ongoing construction of the 1,590-kilometre oil pipeline known as “the Alberta Clipper.” Construction is currently taking place near Red Pheasant reserve on Treaty 6 territory. “We want to put out a message that we’ve had enough, that we’re ...
TransCanada must prove it respects Lubicon rights
Posted: 29 Sep 2008 09:59 AM CDT
Chief Bernard Ominayak of the Lubicon Cree Nation has (once again) informed TransCanada that the Lubicon are “prepared to consider talking with TransCanada about [their] proposal to build a major new gas pipeline across unceded Lubicon Territory,” in a letter dated September 9, 2008. However, Chief Ominayak states that such a meeting depends on the Crown corporation respecting Lubicon rights, something that must begin with the “suspension of TransCanada’s application [...] to build that pipeline without first obtaining Lubicon agreement.” These words come in response to an August 29th letter by Eric Mohun, TransCanada’s Aboriginal Relations spokesperson. In his letter, Mohun attempts to assure Chief Ominayak that “TransCanada [...] recognizes and respects Lubicon Land, and with this recognition, we are sincerely interested in meeting with Chief and Council, hear of the issues and needs of the community and to arrive at a mutually acceptable decision that will be in accordance with Lubicon Nation interests.” Mohun’s words sound promising, but then it’s easy to say one thing and then do the exact opposite. If the company is truly prepared to sit down with the Lubicon, they first have to respect the Lubicon’s request and pull back from the pipeline. Then they will have to engage in a meaningful process of consultation and consent. If TransCanada fails to do this — if instead they continue to undermine, infantilize, and ignore the Lubicon while pushing forward with the pipeline, then as the Friends of the Lubicon have just pointed out, TransCanada is headed toward an imminent confrontation with the Lubicon Nation. Recent history ...