Métis Support Save the Fraser Anniversary Signing

(Vancouver, BC) BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry was honoured to be asked to emcee the Anniversary Celebration coordinated by the Yinka Dene Alliance through the Save the Fraser Declaration at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver earlier today. The Yinka Dene Alliance represent 25% of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project route corridor and First Nations have led the Save the Fraser Declaration to show solidarity and support against the Enbridge project and other projects that present risks to the Fraser River watershed.

The federal government will soon make a decision on approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and tankers project. The Yinka Dene Alliance of First Nations is committed to using all lawful means to stop this devastating project from ever being built through their territories, and has joined with other First Nations and Aboriginal communities to create a powerful and unbroken wall of opposition.

In December 2010, First Nations across BC and Alberta came together in a show of unprecedented solidarity to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline by signing the Save the Fraser Declaration. Last December BC Métis Federation was requested to sign as the only Métis representative organization in BC to join the declaration. Today representatives of over 130 First Nations throughout BC and Canada are now signatories to this powerful legal document that protects the lands and waters we all rely on from devastating oil spills for all people and all generations.

During the Anniversary Celebration today it was clear that many significant organizations are now also supporting the Yinka Dene Alliance in their opposition. An anniversary document entitled the Solidarity Accord was signed by the following new organizations today which represent millions of British Columbians and Canadians:

1. BC Teachers Federation
2. Council of Canadians
3. Dogwood Initiative
4. Greenpeace
5. Sierra Club
6. Wilderness Committee
7. West Coast Environmental Law
8. Water Wealth
9. Forest Ethics
10. Unifor
11. Wilderness Tourism Association
12. Canadian Association of Physicians
13. Mayor of Fort St. James
14. David Suzuki Foundation
15. David Anderson former Federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Environment

BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “What a powerful expression of opposition. There was one new First Nations signatory to the Save the Fraser Declaration plus several organizations adding their support. This is no longer an Aboriginal against Enbridge position but rather bringing together people from all parts of society that recognize the environmental risks associated with these pipeline projects.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “This past weekend the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) President Bruce Dumont sent an opinion article to the Vancouver Sun which was misguided and shameful at best. As leader of the MNBC Mr. Dumont suggests that many First Nations and Métis who oppose pipelines projects and stand for the environment are simply wrong. He uses the public media to spin a notion that these projects are just about jobs and benefits. It also appears Mr. Dumont considers that he is speaking for First Nations who do not fully understand because of his personal life experiences from several decades ago. Mr. Dumont does not represent the interests of the majority of Métis in British Columbia despite his claim, he does not speak for First Nations, and he certainly does not have the experience of assessing environmental risks given his various statements. Mr. Dumont resides in Victoria and any future impacts will likely have little effect on his home or land. I hope the members of the MNBC that still support this dysfunctional organization realize what you are standing for by being a member of the MNBC and with Mr. Dumont as your leader as he has no rights to suggest he speaks for First Nations and today most of the Métis people in British Columbia have expressed their concerns about the Enbridge and all proposed pipeline projects. Mr. Dumont and the MNBC signed an equity deal with Enbridge in June of 2011 and this is their public attempt to add propaganda and confuse the public about Aboriginal people. I have spoken with several First Nations leaders and I can assure Mr. Dumont that First Nation leaders understand the alleged benefits but they are protecting the environment for all of us, the water, fish, etc. One spill could complete wipe out their traditional way of life? Moreover we cannot deny the global impacts of development any longer and we must find new technologies to remove our dependency on oil.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “BC Métis Federation will continue to stand together and ensure the interests of our members and their voices are brought forward. We respect First Nations territories and will ensure that our decisions do not affect their territorial rights. It is clear that many Aboriginal people and their growing partners are preparing to do whatever it takes to stop the Enbridge project. I cannot express how humbled I was to be asked to be part of this further development and witness the power of working together between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people.”

Media Inquiries:
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220 Cell 1-778-388-5013
Email k.henry@bcmetis.com
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-December-5th-2013-Solidarity-Accord.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Press Release in PDF[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://www.holdthewall.ca/” style=”download”]Review the Save the Fraser Solidarity Accord[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Opinion+Resource+sector+offers+opportunities+First+Nations+people/9234583/story.html#ixzz2mcdxjQ6L” style=”download”]Review the MNBC Opinion article[/ilink]

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