Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline: Some B.C. First Nations say there will be no compromise

Boating culture is a way of life for the Gitga’at of Hartley Bay. This photo — taken from the Tsimshian Storm — is a portrait of Hartley Bay’s shoreline.

Just a few miles from the spot where Enbridge Inc. plans to build a massive marine terminal for its Northern Gateway oil pipeline, Gerald Amos checks crab traps and explains why no concession from the company could win his support for the project.

Amos, the former chief of the Haisla Nation on the northern coast of British Columbia and a community leader, has argued for years that the risk — no matter how small — of an oil spill in these waters outweighs any reward the controversial project might offer.

That resolve is shared by many in the aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline and marine shipping route who see the streams, rivers and oceans in their traditional territories as the lifeblood of their culture.

“Our connection to this place that we call home is really important,” says Amos as he pulls three Dungeness crabs from his trap, tossing two in a bucket and holding the third up for his two young granddaughters, who shriek and giggle as the crustacean wriggles its legs.

“If these little ones can’t witness us doing what we’ve done for generations now, if we sever that tie to the land and the ocean, we’re no longer Haisla.”

The Northern Gateway pipeline would carry diluted bitumen 1,177 kilometres from Alberta’s oil sands to the deepwater port in Kitimat, in northwest British Columbia, where it would be loaded on supertankers and shipped to Asia. It is expected to cost $7.9 billion.

Like the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the United States, Northern Gateway is loathed by environmentalists who fear it will hasten the development of Canada’s oil sands and exacerbate climate change.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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