Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC First Nations aren’t dupes of US green movement: Chiefs

First Nations groups oppose Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project because it poses real risks to their territories, five chiefs argue, not because they’re being duped by U.S. environmentalists.

“The lands and rivers which the proposed Enbridge pipeline would cross are habitat for moose, grizzly bears, salmon, deer, migratory birds, and other wildlife,” reads a First Nations-penned editorial in the Vancouver Sun. “Our food, stories, ceremonies, and our entire culture is tied to the land and the wildlife it supports – a spill could devastate our way of life.”

Their editorial was a response to a late-May Postmedia opinion column – published in several major Canadian media outlets – which questioned the financial motivations behind First Nations resistance.

“Northern Gateway is being ostensibly opposed by native groups,” Financial Post columnist Peter Foster argued. “The question is how far those groups are being manipulated – and paid – by the green movement.”

The five chiefs include Larry Nooski, Nadleh Whut'En; Fred Sam, Nak'Azdli; Dolly Abraham, Takla Lake; Karen Ogen, Wet'suwet'En; and Jackie Thomas, Saik'uz. They represent various interior B.C. groups which belong to the Yinka Dene Alliance.

Foster’s analysis, in their opinion, “reveals a deep misunderstanding of the laws, culture, history and strength of the Carrier people.”

“We speak for ourselves, and our decision is based on our extensive consideration of the risks of this pipeline, and the views of our elders, our youth, and our entire community.”

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal would ship up to 525,000 barrels of Alberta oil sands crude per day via pipeline to coastal Kitimat, and then by tanker to Asian markets.

A series of Postmedia editorials over the past year have drawn connections between groups opposed to Alberta oil sands development and their funding from wealthy U.S. philanthropists.

Click here to read a Tyee dispatch from Hartley Bay, ground zero for First Nations resistance to Northern Gateway.

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus