Open Letter to Federal Government regarding the TMX project
On June 8, 2019 in so-called Merritt BC, unceded Nlaka’pamux territory, the Nlaka’pamux Grassroots, held a panel and meeting where we came together to create an open letter to the federal government, and the prime minister Justin Trudeau regarding the federal decision that will be announced by June 18, 2019 regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. We oppose the Trans Mountain Expansion project and do not want it on our territory.
We acknowledge and affirm as Nlaka'pamux people, our title and rights over our entire Nlaka’pamux territory and that this is upheld in many Canadian and pre-confederate laws including Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. Two hundred kilometres of Nlaka’pamux territory from close to the towns of Kamloops BC and Hope BC, will be impacted if this expansion project is built. We also acknowledge and uphold the title and rights of all Indigenous nations along the pipeline path, from the Tar Sands to the Pacific Ocean.
We want to address that the government and corporate systems seek to divide us and that western science based “resource management” is deeply entrenched, and it is what upholds the corporate empire on our territory, and all over the world. This letter challenges the entire consultation process and the entrenched government systems in place that have been set up to remove us from our lands, and open our territories to make way for resource extraction and supportive infrastructure projects like this project, which seeks to ultimately expand the tar sands in Northern Alberta.
Currently the federal government is holding consultations with Indian bands and collecting input that is being taken to satisfy the duty to consult with Indigenous nations that will be directly impacted by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. This process limits the consultation process to the Indian Band reserves the federal government has established through the Indian Act. We also question what impact will the valid concerns that are being voiced at these consultation meetings really have on the final government decision on this project.
We uphold our traditional sustenance of fishing, hunting and gathering, and keeping our language and culture strong is what’s protecting the biodiversity of our territories. We heavily rely on our traditional food and we stand together to protect our traditional food sources is what will ultimately benefit our people and the well-being of the planet.
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