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Marche des Peuples Supports Indigenous Resistance Against Northern Gateway

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Marche des Peuples Supports Indigenous Resistance Against Northern Gateway

On June 30th, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the approval for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which had previously been granted by the National Energy Board (NEB). This majority decision was based on the failure of the federal government to properly inform and consult the indigenous nations whose territory would be crossed by the pipeline.

The Marche des Peuples pour la Terre Mère would like to express our satisfaction at the Court’s decision to recognize the government’s responsibility to consult with the original inhabitants of this land. When First Nations say “no,” that “no” should always be final. This principle applies not only to pipelines, but also to any type of extractive project which could affect their territory.

We would also like to highlight the fact that this decision did not occur in a vacuum, but rather took place in a context of sustained, long-term indigenous resistance to colonial projects such as pipelines and the tar sands. Because of this resistance, it has become possible to stop these projects in their tracks. The courts are finally beginning to recognize this now -- only after years of mobilizations, direct actions, and legal challenges.

Only through struggle comes victory. Despite the advances made through the court system in recent years – from the Tsilhqot’in decision to the Northern Gateway – those of us who struggle to build a new world must remember that the courts are not the final arbiter of justice. As we saw in Elsipogtog, it is through action in our communities that we can achieve results. Once we are organized, the courts and the institutions of power will have no choice but to follow us.

All throughout Turtle Island, corporations and governments are attempting to impose industrial projects which would irreparably scar the territory which sustains us. And all throughout Turtle Island, indigenous peoples and settler allies are standing up to stop them. And as time passes, and victories such as this one begin to pile up, it becomes more and more obvious who stands on the right side of history.

So let’s allow this victory to put wind in the sails of our movements. Northern Gateway may be (nearly) dead, but there are many other destructive projects for us to fight against. And in our struggles against the old world, we can never lose sight of the new world we seek to create – a world where colonialism, racism, environmental destruction, and capitalism are things of the past; a world of everything for everyone.

The Marche des Peuples would like to extend our infinite thanks to all the parties involved in blocking Northern Gateway – from the eight indigenous nations who attached their names to this court challenge, to the Unist’ot’en Camp, and beyond. After years of struggle, this project is dead in the water, and the world we dream of is one step closer. We are winning.


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