Yinka Dene Alliance

Save the Fraser Declaration

April 2012

The Save the Fraser Declaration is an Indigenous law ban on tar sands pipelines through First Nations traditional territories in the Fraser River watershed - including the rivers flowing into the Fraser River like the Stuart, the Endako and the Salmon Rivers.  It also bans tar sands oil tankers in the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon on the north and south coasts of British Columbia. It bans the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and supertanker project, and all other similar projects, from the traditional territories of the Nations who have signed it.  The Save the Fraser Declaration is an exercise of Indigenous law, Title, and Rights, and has status under First Nations law, Canadian law, and International law.

Jointly initiated by the Yinka Dene Alliance and St'át'imc Nation, the Save the Fraser Declaration was negotiated in November 2010 by First Nations over several days at T'exelc (Williams Lake) in the heart of the Fraser River basin. It was signed by representatives of 66 First Nations from the lands now known as British Columbia in late November and early December 2010. On the Declaration's anniversary in December 2011, and in January 2012, representatives of more than 40 additional First Nations from BC, Alberta and the Northwest Territories signed the document in ceremonies in Vancouver and Edmonton. As a result, the Save the Fraser Declaration now bans tar sands pipelines and tankers, as a matter of Indigenous law, from First Nations territories forming an unbroken chain from the U.S. border to the Arctic Ocean - and spanning the entire length of BC from north to south. Along with the Coastal First Nations Declaration banning tar sands supertankers on the Pacific North Coast (see our Resources tab for more details), oil tankers are banned under Indigenous law from the entire west coast of Canada.

This Declaration protects rivers, the coast, and all communities from the risk of a devastating oil spill by banning tar sands oil pipelines and tankers from First Nations territories across the west.

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