The Haida delegation at this year’s All Native Basketball Tournament brought T-Shirts with them promoting unity amongst First Nations on the coast. Members of Haida Gwaii CoASt screen printed the Tees in Masset to get a strong message out that we don’t want the pollution of our waters brought on by supertankers.
Watch for more T-Shirt and sticker campaigns in the upcoming months. Let’s get the word out that we don’t need tarsands bitumen travelling through our waters. We want healthy salmon, killerwhales and people!
HAIDA GWAII: Haida Gwaii CoASt is disappointed that the JRP approvedEnbridge’s pipeline that would bring oil supertankers to Northern BC. Island communities came together to participate in the hearings and almost 200 spoke directly to the panel. Every single speaker stated his or her vehement opposition to Enbridge’s proposal for countless different reasons.
Haida Gwaii relies heavily on wild foods from the ocean and land. An oil spill puts all of that at risk and Island communities are not prepared to accept that risk. Haida Gwaii communities – both Haida and non-Haida – hold strong stewardship values. With a tradition of working together, we are committed to protecting our home from unsustainable, large-scale development projects. This was very clear at the JRP hearings – the Islands are strong and united against the Northern Gateway. Enbridge does not have social license for this project.
“The Panel’s recommendation doesn’t reflect our values. This whole project is absurd from start to finish – it’s totally destructive. We will not allow oil supertankers through our waters and we’re not backing down”, declared Gwaai Edenshaw.
“’The Haida Nation is the rightful heir to Haida Gwaii. Our culture is born of respect; and intimacy with the land and sea and the air around us. Like the forests, the roots of our people are intertwined such that the greatest troubles cannot overcome us. We owe our existence to Haida Gwaii.’ That’s from the preamble of our Constitution and that says it all,” explained April Churchill, former Vice-President of the Haida nation. “We have love and respect for Haida Gwaii, the Earth, and all of its beings. We will persevere in unity.”
Have you heard the radio call from the Exxon Valdez? The audio of the tanker captain’s call for help over the radio is the opening soundtrack for a 2 minute awareness ad for the campaign against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the expansion of tanker traffic on the coast of BC. The ad gives us statistics on the potential impact of a spill like the Exxon Valdez in Canada, for example, costing 4,379 jobs, and $21.4 Billion dollars to clean up (biologists monitoring the ecosystems in Alaska point out that the Valdez spill was never fully cleaned up and that oil can still be found by digging a few feet into the sand of some beaches. See Lingering Oil). Set to the Sounds of Silence by Paul Simon, the video is a reminder to us of what is at stake in pursuing a resource-based industry in Canada.
Tired of sitting idle in Masset’s Haidawood Studios, puppets from the recent production Haida Raid 2: A message to Stephen Harper got together in downtown Masset to Defend Our Coast from the Evil Enbridge Empire. According to Raven, “We’re sick and tired of these companies like Enbridge threatening to bring massive oil tankers to our coast hauling toxic bitumen. It’s time to stop their motion and start defending our coast!”
While the members of the Haida Raid production were feisty and bold at the protest action, the event was largely peaceful and no arrests were made.
“The Haida Nation grilled Enbridge executives and pipeline experts with questions about the price of oil, how much money the federal government stands to make and which First Nations are in favour of the pipeline during final hearings for the Northern Gateway project last week in Edmonton. Council of the Haida Nation president Guujaaw and lawyer Terri Lynn Williams Davidson spoke on behalf of the Haida Nation at the Sept. 20 session.
Guujaaw began his questions by asking about prices for crude oil, and how they would be affected by the proposed pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil to Kitimat for transport to markets in the Far East. Continue reading →
This summary was written by 11-year-old Gabo who visited Haida Gwaii with his parents this summer. He was one of 50+ people who attended Riki’s presentation at Queen B’s on August 15.
“The talk by Riki Ott was very good. I got a front row seat so I could see all the diagrams on the computer. When she started I felt like she was talking about what I knew…I was wrong! Enbridge was much worse than I thought. And spills are worse than I thought. In the Gulf of Mexico, toxic dispersants were used to clean up a leak. You don’t use toxic chemicals to clean up — that just makes things worse. And the dispersants just pull the oil under the surface so it looks good. Then the media leaves because the problem is not visible. Dispersants evaporate and when it rains thousands of people get sick. The symptoms are like nose and ear bleeds, brain fog, and that sort of thing. When they go to the doctor, the doctor doesn’t know what it is and can’t treat it because the oil companies are not saying what is in the chemicals. The chemicals destroy even the community. The Enbridge spill in Kalamazoo was very similar. People have gotten sick because of the bitumen. It is deadly and must be stopped. It is not possible to clean it up, it won’t work. That will happen to Canada and we are totally obvlivious. Except it will be worse because it will be in Haida Gwaii which has the lowest carbon footprint in BC and such an awesome ecological system.”