The Canadian government is expected to make a decision in the coming months on the Northern Gateway proposal, which would result in a pipeline stretching from the oil sands of Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. And the government is not listening to the vocal opposition of First Nations which would be affected.
An environmental review panel has already recommended that the Canadian federal cabinet approve the proposal, subject to numerous conditions, including further consultation with First Nations. However, the assessment never properly looked at the government's human rights obligations toward Indigenous peoples before making this recommendation.
61 First Nations in British Columbia whose traditional territories would be crossed by the proposed pipeline, or who depend on downstream or coastal waters, have issued a declaration opposing the project. They called the pipeline a "grave threat" to their cultures and to future generations.
Canadian law and international human rights standards require rigorous protection of Indigenous peoples' land rights. When there is potential for serious harm, the appropriate standard of precaution is to proceed only with the free, prior and informed consent of those affected.
Join with the thousands of concerned individuals who have already spoken out to urge Canada to live up to its human rights obligations by ensuring that the Northern Gateway proposal will not be approved against the will of First Nations.
Dear Minister Rickford,
The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline has been clearly rejected by First Nations whose lands and waters would be affected by this project. It's important that your government listen.
Canada must stop imposing unwanted decisions that affect that lives of Indigenous peoples. Decisions affecting their lands should be made together. And if no agreement can be reached, a project should not go ahead.
It's about treating Indigenous peoples justly. It's about living up to your government's obligations under Canadian and international law. And it's about setting a positive example for the rest of the world.
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