(Vancouver, BC) –This morning BC Métis Federation made history as they joined several First Nation in the signing the Save the Fraser Declaration. This document is an official declaration of opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, and any future similar Tar Sands projects that threaten the traditional lands, territories and watershed, or the ocean migration routes of the Fraser River Salmon. The BC Métis Federation is proud to join over 130 First Nations signatories in support to oppose the threat to the Fraser and its headwaters (and) to all who depend on its health. The Save the Fraser Declaration signing was attended by City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson who presents a declaration on behalf of the City of Vancouver today marking recognition and support for opposition. There were several other key leadership including Assembly of First Nation National Chief Shawn Atleo, UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, First Nation Summit Grand Chief Edward John, Yinka Dene Alliance Chief Jackie Thomas from Saik’uz First Nations and several others. BC Mètis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “The BC Métis Federation took the opportunity to praise the Yinka Dene Alliance who have been working diligently for the past three years to protect the pristine coastal waters from Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline proposals, on behalf of all Canadians who enjoy, use and benefit from these Coastal waters that identify British Columbia worldwide. Without the fortitude of the Yinka Dene Alliance and Coastal First Nations, our waterways, lands and food sources would be subject to irreparable damage, caused by the industry such as the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. For this reason, BC Mètis Federation, on behalf of the majority of Métis people of British Columbia, felt it necessary to provide our strong support for First Nations in complete opposition to this and future pipeline and Tar Sands projects today to ensure that we keep British Columbia for British Columbians.
It is clear today the opposition grows and key municipal government leaders such as Mayor Robertson from Vancouver and Mayor Taylor Bachrach from Smithers stood together to join the wall of opposition.” BC Mètis Federation President Henry added; “Although we are saddened that the Métis Nation British Columbia supports the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, having no regard for the rights and traditions of our First Nations territories or for the future of the British Columbia coastline for all British Columbians, the strong support shown by the Métis people at today’s signing proves to both the BC Mètis Federation and our partners that MNBC does not accurately reflect or represent the overwhelming opposition that the Métis people of British Columbia feel towards these issues. As I stood there today, I could honestly say that the pride and humility I felt on behalf of BC Mètis Federation and all Métis people was overwhelming. We need to stand together on these key issues with First Nations and BC Mètis Federation was welcomed with open arms with First Nations.”
BC Metis Federation President Henry concluded; “Métis people throughout BC continue to demonstrate their desire for the rightful place of the BC Métis Federation. We have earned their respect by demonstrating our relentless efforts to bring their voices forward. Today I was honoured to bring this voice forward and it was not about me or the BC Mètis Federation board. It is a stand for the right thing as directed by Mètis people across the province. We thoroughly consulting with Métis people throughout BC to review this situation carefully and the signing today was on their behalf. It is their voices that ultimately count, not leadership who makes decisions and then tells you what is best for you. Let’s get back to the Métis traditional way of honouring our culture and respecting the decisions of our communities.”
BC Metis Federation Coffeetalk excerpts of Interviews and Statements from the Save the Fraser Declaration can now be found at:
For more information about the BC Mètis Federation please review our website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
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