VANDERHOOF, BRITISH COLUMBIA and YINKA DENE TERRITORIES, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/17/13 -- With only days remaining until BC must take a final position on the Enbridge pipeline in the federal review process, the Yinka Dene Alliance has written to Premier Christy Clark, calling for government-to-government pipeline talks.
The Yinka Dene Alliance, whose members' territories make-up 25% of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline route, say the Premiers' position on Gateway will be a litmus test for the government's new relationship with BC First Nations.
"Christy Clark has expressed a strong interest in building positive relationships with First Nations in Northern BC," said Chief Martin Louie, Nadleh Whut'en First Nation. "She can either start building that relationship by taking a strong, principled stand against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and respecting our indigenous rights and title, or she can poison the well for future discussions on resource decision-making in Northern BC, including around LNG."
Over 160 First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, banning tar sands oil projects from their territories as a matter of indigenous law.
"Premier Clark has said that she will stand up for BC, and now is the time," said Chief Dolly Abraham, Takla Lake First Nation. "The Yinka Dene Alliance is upholding our responsibility to protect the water and land for our children's future prosperity. Will Premier Clark do the same?"
More than 100,000 people across Canada have signed petitions that recognize and support the Yinka Dene Alliance's decision to ban the Enbridge project from their territories.
"As the stewards of our land, First Nations carry a heavy responsibility for resource decision-making that affects all British Columbians," said Chief Stanley Thomas, Saik'uz First Nation. "It is imperative that we hold government-to-government talks with the new Premier, so that she understands both our deep concerns about the Enbridge pipeline, as well as our vision for the prosperity of our people and all British Columbians."
The Yinka Dene Alliance is made up of Nadleh Whut'en, Nak'azdli, Takla Lake, Saik'uz, Wet'suwet'en and T'lazt'en First Nations.
Chief Martin Louie
Nadleh Whut'en First Nation
Yinka Dene Alliance
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