BC First Nations Unite To Ban Export Of Tar Sands Oil

For the first time in Canadian history, First Nations, whose territory encompasses the entire coastline of British Columbia, have publicly united to oppose the transport of tar sands crude oil through their land.

Over 60 nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands oil pipelines throughout the Fraser River watershed, an area that was never ceded to the Canadian government, and therefore not legally under the government’s control.

“North or south, it makes no difference. First Nations from every corner of BC are saying absolutely no tar sands pipelines or tankers in our territories,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. “We have banned oil pipelines and tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the means at our disposal.”

The First Nations’ refusal to allow tar sands oil extraction or transport through their would make it legally impossible for the Canadian government to move forward with many high price oil production projects. Monday’s announcement – on the first anniversary of the Save the Fraser Declaration – comes in response to recent calls from the Harper government and oil executives to push through pipeline and tanker projects against the wishes of British Columbians and First Nations.

“The government can talk all it wants about pushing tar sands oil pipelines and tankers through BC. There is no way our Nations will allow it,” says Chief Art Adolph representing the St’at’imc Nation. “If they are serious about respecting our rights, the government of Canada must stop pushing the oil companies’ line that this is in the public interest, and the government of BC should step up to the plate too and begin protecting our rivers and coastlines from further environmental damages that violate our basic human rights. Especially now, when Canada is a global embarrassment for failing to address climate change and systemically ignoring Indigenous rights.”

The Save The Fraser Declaration prohibits tar sands crude oil tankers in the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon. Until now, the Declaration has been used to fight Enbridge’s northern pipeline plans. Now it is being recognized by First Nations as effectively banning tar sands crude oil exports on the whole coast, including the south.

Related Reading:

Canadian Government Says Tar Sands Emissions Could Double

Radiohead Singer Speaks Out Against Tar Sands

The Dirty Truth About Tar Sands Oil Extraction [Video]

Image Credit: Flickr – laurigorham


Antje F.
a f4 years ago

Good for them - the First Nations - need to put their collective feet down and force this issue. Native people have been scre*** so many times and look at the mess 'the invaders ' have caused in so many aspects of our lives. They also must protect their wolves and bison as part of their heritage. Protect your sacred places and animals!

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M4 years ago

I am with the First Nations in their fight to not allow the pipeline go through their land and coast lines. Keep up the fight, as a lot of Canadian people are with you.
The 'Save The Fraser Declaration' I truly hope wins!!!

anita hernandez
anita Hernendez4 years ago

I am a American, I to oppose the tar sands pipeline and its pollution and destruction so the rich get richer and the poor get sicker, FIGHT...while you still can, we the am. citizens are under attack by our Gov. Martial law and civil war is on the horizon which is why they threw out our constitution and are now able to arrest,imprison us for as long as they like without a trial,the FEMA camps are ready, stocked and manned ready to fill with US citizens that protest,complete with train cars with bars to bring us in with,and coffins by the thousands to burn our bodies in 3 at a time, we have been taken over by a small group of billionairs and their huge corporations, Monsanto, drug companies, oil companies to name a few,many members of our congress retired or worked for monsanto which is destroying our food, they put poisons in our food and aluminum in our vaccines, floride in our water to keep us docile ,JUST LIKE HITLER, barium and alum. in our air via chemtrails and beware of HAARP in Alaska, No one is really safe from the current administrations for the last 20 years. and OMG fight fracking as much as you can, Dont allow it. It is now to late to save ourselves, but you still can! FIGHT LIKE YOUR LIFE ,AND YOUR CHILDRENS LIVES DEPEND ON IT,....BECAUSE THEY DO!

Alison Baker
Alison Baker4 years ago

Now the only direction is south. Canadian companies always destroy US resources, take the money, & laugh the entire time.

Ann G.
Ann G4 years ago

Wow. This is incredible and I am so in awe that someone just stepped up to the plate and got things done... wow. wow. This made my day! :)

Ann G.
Ann G4 years ago

Wow. This is incredible and I am so in awe that someone just stepped up to the plate and got things done... wow. wow. This made my day! :)

Ann G.
Ann G4 years ago

Wow. This is incredible and I am so in awe that someone just stepped up to the plate and got things done... wow. wow. This made my day! :)

Ann G.
Ann G4 years ago

Wow. This is incredible and I am so in awe that someone just stepped up to the plate and got things done... wow. wow. This made my day! :)

Richard Zane Smith

DaretoCare S. reveals the problem with a lot of tribal politics today.

Chief Elmer Derrick of the Gitxsan, has reached (and signed) an agreement with Enbridge to let the Northern Gateway pipeline proceed. So they are already “a nation divided”.

these governments aren't representing the people. they are FEDERALLY "required" governments, that null all aboriginal matriarchal power in a traditional community. There is a sense of helplessness with many of us tribal members when the only choice offered is voting a choice between aggressive hotshots making promises of heaven on earth, thus the frivolous spending and ridiculous "look good" projects, while community infrastructure is overlooked or bi-passed.
The truly wise men or women in a community, often grandmothers and grandfathers not business savy, have no a chance in the world to lead.

Depression and hopelessness follow, alcohol abuse, and all manner of other parasitical abuses follow. As people are losing the will to even care about themselves anymore.

sherry l.
sherry luciano4 years ago

I'm so glad that Canadian's don't want the pipe line either.