Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

First Nations Land Defenders Take Direct Action Against Trans Mountain Pipeline

Energy
First Nations Land Defenders Take Direct Action Against Trans Mountain Pipeline
JASON REDMOND / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

A pair of Indigenous land defenders locked themselves to equipment at a fossil fuel pumping station in British Columbia on Saturday, vowing to continue resisting a government-owned oil pipeline that is harming the climate, the environment, and First Nations peoples whose unceded lands it traverses.


The pipeline protesters — self-described on social media as "accomplices" of the Braided Warriors and Tiny House Warriors — locked themselves to a crane at Trans Mountain Corporation's Blue River pumping station.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline — which is owned by the Canadian government through subsidiary Trans Mountain Corporation—carries crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the British Columbian coast. It is widely considered the world's dirtiest oil.

In addition to the harm done to the climate and environment, the pipeline has grave social costs. According to First Nations advocates, it desecrates sacred Indigenous land, and transient workers housed in man camps are often perpetrators of crimes against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Murder, rape, human trafficking, and other crimes abound, contributing to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people (MMIWG2S).

Secwepemc land defenders have strategically built tiny houses along the route of the 518 km (321 mile) pipeline "to assert Secwepemc law and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline."

"We have never provided and will never provide our collective free, prior, and informed consent—the minimal international standard—to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project," the Tiny House Warriors website declares. "The Tiny House Warrior movement is the start of re-establishing village sites and asserting our authority over our unceded territories."

Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepemc land defender and Tiny House Warrior, told The Sparrow Project — a nonprofit grassroots public interest newswire focused on amplifying stories from struggles for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice — that Trans Mountain does "not have consent from the Secwepemc and failure to recognize Secwepemc title, land rights, and Indigenous jurisdiction will only result in more conflict, direct actions, blockades, and Indigenous land occupations, which will increase the risks and economic uncertainty for Trans Mountain and its construction deadlines."

The Braided Warriors, an Indigenous organization that promotes First Nations rights and sovereignty in the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam territories, said on its Instagram page that "we are in solidarity with the Secwepemc people in their fight to stop foreign invasion of their lands and protect their lands, waters, animals, and peoples."

"It is our role to be accomplices to Indigenous land defenders and put ourselves on the line to stop the ongoing colonization of Indigenous territories and peoples," said Braided Warriors. "This pipeline will affect all of us and all future generations, but first and foremost will impact the nations and peoples along this route, including Secwepemc people."

"Today we stand on unceded, unsurrendered, illegally occupied Secwepemc land to show that we will not stop until the pipeline is terminated and the land is returned to the rightful title holders," they added.

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

Air France airplanes parked at the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport on March 24, 2020. SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images

France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A woman looks at a dead gray whale on the beach in the SF Bay area on May 23, 2019; a new spate of gray whales have been turning up dead near San Francisco. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A small tourist town has borne the brunt of a cyclone which swept across the West Australian coast. ABC News (Australia) / YouTube

Tropical Cyclone Seroja slammed into the Western Australian town of Kalbarri Sunday as a Category 3 storm before grinding a more-than 600-mile path across the country's Southwest.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous youth, organizers with the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights and climate activists march to the White House to protest against pipeline projects on April 1, 2021. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

Read More Show Less