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.”
“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 →
Want to know more about what happened in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez Spilled a supertanker of oil? How about what’s going on now? Come and see Riki Ott speak in Masset and Charlotte about her own experiences with clean-up and as an “incidental activist.” This event is supported by CoASt and the TBuck Suzuki Foundation.
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 7:00 pm
Queen B’s Cafe, 3208 Wharf Street
Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:00 pm
The Haven, Harrison Ave (above Green Gaia)
Last week saw the second visit of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel to Haida Gwaii, this time in Skidegate. The Panel returns to the islands in June. Here is an excerpt from the Courage to be posting on Blue Sky Haida Gwaii Blog:
We know from other such panel visitations in the past, that the quasi-judicial JRP process is an exercise in pretty raw governmental power. There are massive sets of rules and regulations, arbitrary procedures and technical requirements. Unless you are a lawyer, it’s not the most comfortable of circumstances. At face value, the purpose of the JRP is to gather evidence. But, inevitably, if you find yourself on the negative side of a proponent who is being outright supported by the federal government, it’s difficult not to see yourself forced into the position of supplicant – pleading, imploring, offering evidence and testimony in your own defence.
It’s tough to maintain a centre of dignity and integrity in a situation like that. But then, people around here have always been very good at absorbing issues of power and, always respectfully, moving forward through an entirely different axis of action. This is the history of politics on Haida Gwaii.
Coverage of the inspiring words of people presented at the Old Masset hearings in February:
Some 50 people occupy the seats at this end of the gymnasium – hereditary chiefs, elected leaders, witnesses, and elders, all of them observing the events. The remainder of the space is row seating and bleachers, where 400+ islanders also listen attentively, as speakers share their stories with the panel – how they learned to fish, to harvest seaweed, to hunt. How these activities are essential to who they are, to their survival. Songs and stories are shared, detailing how Haida culture has continuously evolved along with the ocean for millennia.