We Love This Coast

#StopKinderMorgan – Standing Up for Our Precious Coast – #welovethiscoast #OrcasNotTankers

Leave a comment

Join ‘Coast Protectors.ca’

Here is information on Coast Protectors click here.

Whatever it takes to stop Kinder Morgan

We call upon our friends and allies to stand with us to defend our land, our water, and our air, from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project.

We stand in solidarity with Indigenous land, water and environment protectors across Turtle Island, from British Columbia to Quebec, from Burnaby to Lelu Island, from Muskrat Falls to Standing Rock.

Indigenous Peoples have consistently and repeatedly rejected Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project, including the arrest of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip on Burnaby Mountain in 2014.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s November 2016 approval of the project denies our inherent Indigenous Title and Rights, and violates a core principle of Reconciliation: the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Coast Protectors is proudly hosted by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).


Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
Working towards the recognition, implementation and exercise of our inherent Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty Rights

342 Water St, 500 Vancouver, BC V6B-1B6 Canada
604-684-0231 | ubcic@ubcic.bc.ca


Leave a comment

Join ‘ProtectTheInlet.ca’

Here is the link to sign up for email updates:

 Protect the water, land, and climate


Nearly 200 people have been arrested challenging the Kinder Morgan pipeline. They are now facing charges in court for standing up for Indigenous rights.


Next event:

People of Faith and Spirit will be standing up to Kinder Morgan on Saturday, Apr 28.

For facebook event information click here.

(On April 28, the Faith community will return to Burnaby Mountain. Last week, twenty members of the faith community risked arrest taking bold action against Kinder Morgan.

This Saturday, over 100 members of the Faith community are answering the call to take a stand for Indigenous rights and are asking peoples of all faiths and all spiritualities to support them on Burnaby Mountain.

Please arrive at 8am ready for a march.)


Stay up-to-date on the fight against Kinder Morgan. Click here.

A Watch House, (“Kwekwecnewtxw”)

Visiting Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm

Indigenous Coast Salish members, spiritual leaders and youth have erected a traditional “Watch House” as part of their ongoing resistance to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.

A Watch House, (“Kwekwecnewtxw”  or “a place to watch from” in the henqeminem language, used by members of the Coast Salish Peoples) is grounded in the culture and spirituality of the Coast Salish Peoples. It is a traditional structure they have used for tens of thousands of years to watch for enemies on their territories and protect their communities from danger.

Today, this danger is Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline from the Alberta tar sands, which seeks to cross Indigenous and Coast Salish traditional territories despite the fact that more than half of Indigenous communities along the pipeline’s route have refused consent for the project. It would also mean a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, bringing hundreds of tankers through the Burrard Inlet each year.

The Watch House will be occupied by Coast Salish members, including members of the Tsleil-Waututh and allied communities, and used for ceremony and Indigenous gatherings.

Want to plan an event at the Kwekwecnewtxw Watch House? Send an email here.
Want to volunteer? Send an email here.

Kwekwecnewtxw – Protect the Inlet” is an Indigenous-led initiative, supported by allied organizations.


How do I pronounce Kwekwecnewtxw?

Kwekwecnewtxw is pronounced Kwu-kwe-ow-tukh.

Is this a project of the Tsleil Waututh Nation?

No. This project is led by members of the Tsleil Waututh communities but not Tsleil Waututh Nation government or band council. It is supported by allied groups.

Why is the Watch House significant?

It has been a long time since Coast Salish communities have been able to build a Watch House, which makes this project historically significant. The Watch House will continue to be an important place for prayer and ceremony. The Watch House will be a base for ongoing opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which seeks to cross Indigenous land and waters without consent.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please contact media@protecttheinlet.ca.

Is there a public camp at the Watch House?

No. The Watch House is a space for Coast Salish spiritual leaders and members and their guests.

“Kwekwecnewtxw”  translates to “a place to watch from.” A Watch House is a traditional structure of the Coast Salish people that’s been used for tens of thousands of years to watch for enemies on their territories. The Watch House will be occupied by Coast Salish members, and used for ceremony and Indigenous gathering.

Kwekwecnewtxw is pronounced Kwu-kwe-ow-tukh.



The Watch House is located at Burnaby 200 Soccer Field. Here’s a map.

Leave a comment

Globe editorial: Are reconciliation and development compatible?

One of the great projects of modern-day Canada is reconciliation between the federal government and Indigenous peoples.

It’s important and necessary work. But as a recent breakdown in negotiations between First Nations leaders and Ottawa shows, it is hampered by the lack of a definition of what reconciliation is, and what it will look like if and when it is achieved.

Three members of the executive of the Assembly of First Nations last week sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying they will no longer collaborate with Ottawa on reforming key enviromental-protection laws that they, and the government, believe have been tilted too much in the favour of industry.

The AFN members say they don’t feel like full partners in the process. But their real beef seems to be that Ottawa is moving in a direction that they don’t agree with.

“Our order of priority is environmental sustainability and then the national [economic] interest,” said Chief Isadore Day, one of the signatories to the letter. “The federal government’s order of priority is the national interest and then environmental sustainability.”

This is a reasonable difference to have. It’s also a reasonable difference for two different levels of government to have. But for the current federal government, it is overshadowed by the Liberals’ signature vow to achieve reconciliation – a major part of which is its promise to establish “nation-to-nation” relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Native leaders like those in the AFN believe such a relationship means that Ottawa can’t approve projects that affect Indigenous territory without their “free, prior and informed consent,” a term taken from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Canada, even thought it is an UNDRIP signatory, has balked at giving Indigenous people what amounts to a veto over development. Its stance, which is supported by current Canadian law, is that the government must seek informed consent in good faith, but it can move forward in the national interest if that consent can’t be obtained.

It’s a huge difference of opinion. If one side believes an Indigenous veto over development is necessary for reconciliation, there’s a good chance it won’t ever be achieved. That in turn raises the question of whether there’s a point to talks like the ones that stalled last week.

These are the great mysteries of reconciliation: What does it look like? Can it realistically be achieved? As far as we can tell, no one has a clue.

See article here………

Leave a comment

First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day waits to appear at the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, April 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


First Nations leaders have halted their collaboration with Liberal government on developing environmental legislation, arguing Ottawa is failing to make good on its vaunted commitments to work in partnership with Indigenous people.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, three members of the Assembly of First Nations executive committee said they were promised that they would be full partners in crafting the rules under which major mining, oil and gas and pipeline projects would be assessed. They complained they are being left out of key decisions on the proposed legislation. The letter, dated Oct. 16, was provided to The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

“Technical discussions between officials have been largely one-sided and do not encompass the principles of collaboration and transparency that a nation-to-nation relationship must embody,” said the missive signed by three regional chiefs who are co-chairs of the AFN’s Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment.

The Liberal government is in the process of overhauling four pieces of legislation – the National Energy Board Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act – which govern how major resource projects are assessed and approved. The laws underwent major revisions under the former Conservative government, with the intent of speeding up regulatory approvals, but the Liberals – as well as many Indigenous leaders and environmental groups – argued the Conservatives tilted the playing field in favour of industry, and gave short shrift to environmental concerns and Indigenous rights.

In an interview, Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day said the Liberal government is failing to give proper weight to environmental considerations and treaty rights as it prepares draft legislation, and is putting a greater emphasis on economic development.

“Our order of priority is environmental sustainability and then the national interest,” said Chief Day, an AFN executive member and one of the signatories to the letter. “The federal government’s order of priority is the national interest and then environmental sustainability.”

In keeping with the government’s policy of reconciliation, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna say Ottawa will partner with Indigenous leaders in developing the new environmental rules, as well as in monitoring their enforcement.

Chief Day said that public commitment is not being met.

“It’s a sad story but we have become strangers to the process,” he said in an interview. “I’m sensing we are in darkening times when it comes to sunny ways of this prime minister and his commitment to nation-to-nation relationship.”

In a statement from their offices, the two ministers insisted the government remains committed to working “in a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

“Over the past year, the federal government has held more than 200 meetings with Indigenous peoples across the country, to discuss the path forward to restore Canadians’ trust in our environmental assessment and regulatory processes. The Assembly of First Nations has made substantial contributions to move forward the dialogue on improving these processes,” the ministers said in the joint statement.

At a two-day energy summit hosted by his department last week, Mr. Carr ensured Indigenous leaders had prominent roles while pledging that the government’s approach to resource-industry regulation would be guided by aboriginal values of “protection of the land, air and water.”

Behind the scenes, however, the government was facing a barrage of criticism from the AFN committee.

At a meeting in late September, the chiefs told the minister they disagreed with the government on key points, and that it would be wrong to state publicly that two sides were aligned. The minister responded that he was working hard to meet the government’s commitments on Indigenous relations and was “moving too fast for some and not fast enough for others,” according to an internal AFN briefing on the meeting provided to The Globe.

The meeting featured some heated exchanges between the AFN chiefs and Mr. Carr, and prompted the letter to the prime minister. However, in a signal of divisions within the AFN itself, National Chief Perry Bellegarde refused to sign the letter.

In a speech at the United Nations in New York last month, Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged Canada is still operating under a colonial system put in place in the 19th and 20th century that deprived Indigenous people of their rights and left many of them in dire poverty.

He vowed to establish “nation-to-nation” relations based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes rights to self-determination and to assert the need for free, prior and informed consent over developments that impact their traditional territory.

The AFN’s rebuke on what they believed to be “co-development” of environmental legislation illustrates the significant challenges the Liberals face as they look to put those principles in practice.

Rather than insist on the right to free, prior and information consent, the Liberals’ principles for relations with Indigenous people says the government “aims to secure” their consent “when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.” Mr. Carr said last week that the government must strike a balance among interests when assessing major projects like pipelines and mines.

In their letter to the prime minister, the three regional chiefs argue Ottawa’s commitment to implement the UN declaration “sets a standard that has not yet been met.”

The Liberals are overhauling legislation that was put in place five years ago by the previous Conservative government and was criticized for failing to properly account for Indigenous rights and environmental protection. The current government insist the new rules would reduce the likelihood of approvals being overturned by the courts, but Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day said the changes do not go far enough in ensuring Indigenous people exercise free, prior and informed consent over project approvals.

See article here…..

Leave a comment

Indigenous rights “serious obstacle” to Kinder Morgan pipeline, report says

Pipeline company downplaying major legal and financial risks of crossing unceded First Nations territory in British Columbia

Secwepemc activist Kanahus Manuel in front of a tiny house being built in path of Kinder Morgan pipeline’s planned route through her Nation’s territory in British Columbia, Canada.
Secwepemc activist Kanahus Manuel in front of a tiny house being built in the path of Kinder Morgan pipeline’s planned route through her Nation’s territory in British Columbia, Canada. Photograph: Ian Willms/Greenpeace

The controversial expansion of a pipeline that would carry tar sands crude from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast will be doomed by the rising power of Indigenous land rights.

That’s the message that Kanahus Manuel, an Indigenous activist from the Secwepemc Nation in central BC, plans to deliver to banks financing the project as she travels through Europe this week.

She’ll have in hand a report being released today by the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, which argues that Texas-based Kinder Morgan has misled financial backers about the risks of expanding its TransMountain pipeline, almost half of which runs across “unceded” Secwepemc territory.

The project, whose cost has ballooned from $5.4 to $7.4bn, would nearly triple capacity on an existing pipeline to ship 890,000 barrels a day to Asian markets, locking in expanded production of one of the world’s most carbon-intensive oils.

The report details “significant legal, financial and reputation risks” that amount to “serious obstacles” it says have been downplayed by Kinder Morgan in its dealings with Canadian and international banks.

The key risks, identified by economists and lawyers based on the pipeline’s history, Canadian legal precedents, and financial documents, include Kinder Morgan’s plans to build on lands whose ownership is hotly contested.

The pipeline crosses 518km of Secwepemc territory over which the First Nations assert Aboriginal title, a type of land rights that the supreme court of Canada has recognized were never ceded or relinquished through treaties.

TransMountain pipeline’s route through the Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia, Canada.

The Secwepemc could not oppose the original Trans Mountain pipeline being built through their territory in 1951, because it was illegal at the time for Indigenous peoples to politically organize or hire lawyers to advocate on their behalf.

“[Kinder Morgan] either does not understand the diverse realities of Indigenous rights in Canada or they are wilfully ignoring the consequences of those rights for the project,” the report says. “Either way, it should be a major red flag for investors, lenders, and other financial backers.”

Kinder Morgan did not return a request for comment.

Banks are increasingly rethinking their investments in the tar sands – French bank BNP Paribas pledged last week to stop financing pipelines carrying tar sands oil, following similar moves by Dutch Bank ING and Sweden’s largest pension fund AP7.

The report also notes that the likelihood of increasing Indigenous protest has not been accounted for by the company.

Inspired by her time at the Standing Rock encampment, this fall Manuel and others finished constructing the first of several tiny houses – to be outfitted with solar-panels – that they will place in the path of the pipeline as an act of defiance.

“We will defend with all of our capacities our unceded lands and waters from this climate chaos-fuelling pipeline,” Manuel said from Europe. “The government has to follow the minimum standards laid out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – that includes free, prior and informed consent, which they have not gotten from us for the project. Instead Kinder Morgan is hiding the risks and the costs their backers will face when this pipeline doesn’t get built.”

Kinder Morgan’s initially estimated the pipeline would be in operation by late 2017, but delays have pushed back the date to spring 2020.

Each month of delay costs the company $5.6m in expenses and $88m in lost revenue, according to an affidavit Kinder Morgan filed in court during a stand-off near Vancouver in 2014, when 100 Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists were arrested trying to block exploratory drilling by the company.

The pipeline project has the backing of the Alberta government and prime minister Justin Trudeau, whose natural resources minister has previously suggested the government could call in the Canadian military to deal with protests, evoking the prospect of what First Nations leaders have labelled a “Standing Rock of the North.”

The Trudeau government approved the pipeline in 2016, but the recently-elected NDP provincial government in BC has said it “would employ every tool available” to stop it. Both governments have committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The BC government joined as an intervenor in federal court of appeal hearings last week, supporting legal challenges against the pipeline launched by First Nations closer to the coast, municipalities, and environmental organizations.

The report comes on the heels of TransCanada withdrawing its application to build Energy East, the largest proposed tar sands pipeline that would have carried 1.1m barrels daily to the east coast.

It was hobbled by political protests, as well as the recent introduction of a “climate test” that would evaluate how the project might impact Canada’s overall carbon emissions.

Research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has found that Canada cannot build new tar sands export pipelines and expand production and still hope to meet its Paris accord climate commitments.

See article here……

Leave a comment

Indigenous chief says Trudeau needs ‘wake-up call’ on land rights


The Globe and Mail by Sunny Dhillon / Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

First Nations leaders have expressed their concerns about the treatment of Indigenous people in Canada to a United Nations committee that examines racial discrimination – and one chief says the Prime Minister needs a “wake-up call.”

Representatives from several Indigenous Nations held a news conference in Vancouver on Thursday, fresh off their meeting with the UN committee in Geneva earlier this week.

Judy Wilson, chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band and secretary-treasurer with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said Canada cannot present itself as a leader on human rights when its land-rights policies aim to extinguish Indigenous title.

“What we spoke [to] was mainly about the land rights of our people. We cannot continue to have the Crown say they have underlying title to our lands when it’s actually the Indigenous First Nations across Canada that hold that title,” she told reporters.

The federal government has committed to “a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, and rooted in the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

But Ms. Wilson said Ottawa needs to work more directly with the Indigenous Nations themselves. “The Prime Minister really does need another wake-up call,” she said.

A statement from the office of the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs said the federal government remains fully committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to consulting and working in partnership with Indigenous people.

The statement said the government’s consultations have begun, with the Minister of Justice leading a working group that will ensure Canada lives up to its obligations under the UN declaration and the federal Constitution.

“We need to get this right, and we will continue to work in partnership, on a whole-of-government approach, to renew our relationship and advance reconciliation,” the statement read.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitors how effectively member countries implement a UN anti-discrimination convention. Canada is a signatory to the convention and must report to the committee every two years.

The submission to the committee by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs said it is “presently witnessing a great divide between the words of the Canadian government and its actions on the ground.”

The submission highlighted several areas of concern, including land title, energy projects, forestry and housing.

It said the Trans Mountain pipeline project – which the federal government approved last year – “poses an unacceptable risk to the health, safety and livelihoods of First Nations throughout British Columbia.”

It went on to say forestry activities in B.C. continue to affect the territories of Indigenous nations “with little or no benefit to them.”

On housing, the submission said Indigenous people experience disproportionately poor living conditions on- and off-reserve. It called the amount of federal funding for First Nations housing “critically low.”

Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the fact Indigenous groups must still travel to international forums “to expose Canada’s dirty secret of racism towards First Nations people” is a significant issue.

The committee received submissions from about 20 Indigenous groups, including the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

The committee is expected to release its initial comments on Friday.

See article here……..

Leave a comment

SCC (Supreme Court of Canada) rulings suppress Indigenous peoples’ rights to their land

The Globe and Mail by TRACEY LINDBERG and ANGELA CAMERON/  Friday, Jul. 28, 2017 1:06PM EDT

See article here……