FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5th, 2017
First Nations organizing leads to TransCanada Ending Its East Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals.
Indigenous Climate Action and Indigenous Environmental Network respond to this decision and its impact on First Nations and Indigenous Peoples.
Edmonton, AB – Today, TransCanada has informed the Canadian National Energy Board that it will end its application for the contested Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals.
The Calgary-based energy company was seeking approval of what was to be the longest tar sands oil pipeline in Canada, with a proposed carrying capacity of 1.1 million barrels of oil per day. Resistance to the pipeline project was lead by Indigenous peoples and First Nations from the Tar Sands region in Northern Alberta to Wolastoq territory in News Brunswick.
The following statement is from Eriel Deranger, Executive Director of the Indigenous Climate Action:
“As someone from the Tar Sands territory, I want to thank everyone who stepped up, stepped in and worked so hard to pave the way for the Indigenous Rights and climate justice narrative to permeate the discourse and debate on Energy East. My own community continues to experience the direct environmental, physical, spiritual and long term legacy of the industry. The Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline, and the KXL pipeline still loom overhead. The largest proposed Tar Sands Mine, Teck Frontier Mine, is awaiting approval in Alberta. We must celebrate this moment, but continue to collectively work together to challenge the systems that uphold these projects and ensure they are not duplicated as we develop a true just transition future, one that includes the recognition and valuation of human, environmental and rights of Indigenous peoples. ”
The following statement is from Wolastoq Grand Chief, Spasaqsit Possesom (Ron Tremblay), New Brunswick:
“As Wolastoq Grand Chief, this is exceptional news for Wolastoqey Nation. Our Wolastoq Homeland begins at the shores of the St. Lawrence seaway in what is known today as Quebec, through North-Western Maine and all the way down through the western part of New Brunswick to the Bay of Fundy where our river Wolastoq (St. John river) empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Energy East Project was a major concern for the safety of our waterways, fish, vegetation, animals plus our people who reside next to the Wolastoq (St. John river).
Please recognize this is a partial victory. We can celebrate our success here in the east coast although we need not overlook our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers in the west coast who must deal with the Kinder Morgan Pipeline that was authorized by the Trudeau government. Here in Wolastoq Homeland, we will continue to support the western Indigenous Nations as they resist the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.”
The following statement is from Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke, Land Defender and Human Rights Activist:
“This is a victory owed to all Indigenous peoples and civil society groups dedicated to a healthy and prosperous environment for present and future generations.
This should be seen not solely as a victory, but an opportunity to rethink capitalism and how sustainable energy is not only more economical, but creates a more promising legacy for present and future generations; a future in which it is clear that our human rights are interrelated and intertwined with the rights of Mother Earth and all our relations.”
The following statement is from Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Organizer of the Indigenous Environmental Network:
“This as a tremendous battle victory in the greater fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and for climate justice for Indigenous nations. Today’s announcement supports the validity and strength of an Indigenous rights-based approach to win these battles. All along the Energy East pipeline route First Nations took a stand to defend their inherent rights, protect their water and Mother Earth and resist the colonial actions of Canada and its oil regime. This fight against TransCanada has always been about more than just a pipeline, it is also about deconstructing colonialism and building a better, more sustainable, and just society for the benefit of all living beings and future generations. As such, we fight on!”
Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) is a Canadian-based Indigenous-led initiative, represented through a coalition of individuals from different organisations, communities & regions. Our goal is to fill the gaps between lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples and policies and strategies being developed to address climate change.
The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. www.ienearth.org