December 5, 2013
~Solidarity Accord aligns First Nations with supporters from across Canadian society ahead of a Joint Review Panel decision on the project ~
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, COAST SALISH TERRITORY – (December 5, 2013) – The Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) has welcomed a new signatory to the Save the Fraser Declaration and has also launched a new Solidarity Accord, backed by some of Canada and BC’s most powerful unions, as well as a host of local leaders from tourism businesses, municipal government, health and conservation organizations.
The Save the Fraser Declaration is an indigenous law banning tar sands pipelines and tankers from crossing BC, signed by representatives of over 130 First Nations.
Chief Archie Patrick of the Stellat’en First Nation signed the declaration, just moments before the launch of the new Solidarity Accord by Unifor, the BC Teachers’ Federation, the BC Wilderness Tourism Association, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the David Suzuki Foundation among others.
The Stellat’en First Nation is one of many First Nations along the proposed pipeline route that Enbridge has been trying to woo for years.
“First Nations opposition to Enbridge’s project just keeps growing,” said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation. “Never before have we been joined by such a vast range of supporters from across Canadian society. This gives the alliance greater strength for the fight ahead and shows the magnitude and power of public opposition to this pipeline that is proposed to cross over our territories.”
Through the Solidarity Accord, non-First Nations organizations and individuals pledge to stand with First Nations in upholding the Save the Fraser Declaration and stopping the Enbridge project, with a new website launching at www.holdthewall.ca.
“The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is simply too risky a proposal for our industry to support,” said Jim DeHart, President of the BC Wilderness Tourism Association. “An oil spill would affect the major rivers or coastline of BC and threaten the entire provincial tourism industry. That’s why we’re signing this accord today.”
“Unifor is proud to stand in solidarity with First Nations as they resist the Enbridge Northern Gateway project,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Area Director for BC. “It’s time for a new vision for Canada’s energy industry –one that addresses the reality of aboriginal title and rights, respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here.”
The Save the Fraser Solidarity Accord may be found online here.
Chief Martin Louie
Nadleh Whut'en First Nation
Geraldine Thomas Flurer
Coordinator, Yinka Dene Alliance