“Our people have a right to be there, especially since Kinder Morgan hasn’t had our consent,” Wilson says.
KAMLOOPS – Members of a First Nations group hope their plan to build homes on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline path will help stop the project from being constructed.
From Sept. 5 to Sept. 8 at Neskonlith near Kamloops, volunteers with the group Tiny House Warriors will be working to build a home in the path of the pipeline with the intention of rebuilding village sites along the route. In doing this the group hopes to assert its authority over unceded territory.
Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band says while the band itself isn’t involved with the tiny homes initiative the group has their full support.
“There has always been this colonial thinking that our people are on reserves and we’re just stagnant and we stay in our homes on the reserve,” she say. “That’s not true. Our people have always hunted, harvested, and fished and been connected to the land spiritually.”
Wilson says putting up more permanent lodges on the land where her people hunt, fish and harvest is important.
“Our people have a right to be there, especially since Kinder Morgan hasn’t had our consent,” she says.
The structure going up next week will be the first of ten tiny homes the group plans to install and they are asking for volunteers with construction experience to come and help with the build. Each home will be powered by solar panels.
“We are going big, by going small,” says an organizer in a social media post. “As they attempt to destroy the land and waters that we have never surrendered, we’re building something beautiful that models hope, possibility and solutions to the world and we would welcome your help to do it.”
The Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline was originally built in 1953 and the $6.8 billion expansion is expected to triple the lines capacity as it runs from Edmonton to Vancouver.