OPEN LETTER: UBCIC Calls On BC and Canada to Reject the Steelhead LNG Project

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Christy Clark and Ministers Polak and Rustad,

We are writing with respect to UBCIC Resolution 2016-34, “Support for WSÁNEĆ First Nations’ Opposition to Steelhead LNG,” which was presented, affirmed and endorsed by consensus at the UBCIC Annual General Assembly Chiefs Council on September 22, 2016 (enclosed).

As Indigenous Peoples, we have experienced time and time again, third party industrial interests being granted access to the resources of our territories. The Federal and Provincial Governments continually fail to recognize our Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty Rights which reflect and enshrine the deep environmental values that many British Columbians share with us.

The Chiefs of the WSÁNEĆ First Nations located on the Saanich Peninsula (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) have publically announced their opposition to the Malahat LNG project proposed by the Steelhead LNG and Malahat First Nation.

The WSÁNEĆ First Nations are the successor Nations and beneficiaries of the rights recognized and confirmed by the Treaty of 1852 with the Crown. The Treaty provides unqualified protection and recognition of their right to carry on their fisheries as formerly done.

First Nations continue to exercise our laws and jurisdiction to protect our lands, our waters, our coasts and our rivers, as we have done for thousands of years.

These rights are enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has adopted without qualifications, which states:

Article 25: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 32
(1): Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
(2): States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
(3): States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.

In contravention of the UNDRIP, the National Energy Board export license was issues last year to the proponent without the free, prior and informed consent of the WSÁNEĆ First Nation.

This project poses an unacceptable risk to the health, safety and livelihoods of First Nations throughout the Saanich Inlet, and will contribute to the negative environmental and health impacts experienced by Indigenous peoples throughout the world as a result of accelerating global climate change.

The Saanich Inlet is a critical source of food, recreation and ceremony for the WSÁNEĆ First Nations.

The WSÁNEĆ First Nations are opposed to the proposed floating liquefied natural gas terminal, the proposed sub-sea gas pipeline or the proposed shipping activity in the Saanich Inlet.

The UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly fully support the WSÁNEĆ First Nations’ opposition to the Steelhead LNG project and urge the governments of Canada and British Columbia to respect the laws and authority of First Nations and to protect the environment, fisheries, and health and safety of all BC communities by opposing and rejecting the Steelhead LNG project.


On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
President 

Chief Robert Chamberlin
Vice-President 

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
Secretary-Treasurer

CC: UBCIC Chiefs Council

==

UNION OF B.C. INDIAN CHIEFS
48TH ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY
SEPTEMBER 21ST TO 23RD, 2016
MUSQUEAM COMMUNITY CENTRE, XʷMƏΘKʷƏY̓ƏM (MUSQUEAM TERRITORY)

Resolution no. 2016-34

RE: Support for WSÁNEĆ First Nations’ Opposition to Steelhead LNG

WHEREAS First Nations continue to exercise our laws and jurisdiction to protect our lands, our waters,
our coasts and our rivers, as we have done for thousands of years;

WHEREAS the Chiefs of the WSÁNEĆ First Nations located on the Saanich Peninsula (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) have publically announced their opposition to the Malahat LNG project proposed by Steelhead LNG and Malahat First Nation;

WHEREAS the WSÁNEĆ First Nations are the successor Nations and beneficiaries of the rights recognized and confirmed by the Treaty of 1852 with the Crown. The Treaty provides unqualified protection and recognition of their right to carry on their fisheries as formerly done;

WHEREAS the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states:

Article 25: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 32
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact;

WHEREAS the National Energy Board export license was issued last year to the proponent without the free, prior and informed consent of the WSÁNEĆ First Nations;

WHEREAS the WSÁNEĆ First Nations are opposed to the proposed floating liquefied natural gas terminal, the proposed sub-sea gas pipeline or the proposed shipping activity in the Saanich Inlet;

WHEREAS the Saanich Inlet is a critical source of food, recreation and ceremony;

WHEREAS this project poses an unacceptable risk to the health, safety and livelihoods of First Nations throughout the Saanich Inlet, and will contribute to the negative environmental and health impacts experienced by Indigenous peoples throughout the world as a result of accelerating global climate change; and

WHEREAS as Indigenous Peoples, we have experienced time and time again, third party industrial interests being granted access to the resources of our territories. The Federal and Provincial Governments continually fail to recognize our Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty Rights which reflect and enshrine the deep environmental values that many British Columbians share with us.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly fully support the WSÁNEĆ First Nations’ opposition to the Steelhead LNG project; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly urge the governments of Canada and British Columbia to respect the laws and authority of First Nations and to protect the environment, fisheries, and the health and safety of all BC communities by opposing and rejecting the Steelhead LNG project.

Moved: Chief Don Tom, Tsartlip First Nation
Seconded: Chief Susan Miller, Katzie First Nation
Disposition: Carried
Date: September 22, 2016

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.