The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is unanimously supporting a declaration against the “hyper-masculine” culture and associated dangers local communities will face from “man camps” along the route of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The UBCIC’s decision last month, supporting the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and the Tiny House Warriors’ Women’s Declaration Against Kinder Morgan Man Camps, set its sights on “a hyper-masculine industrial camp culture, which can result in increased risk of sexual harassment, assault, increased levels of violence against women in sex work and hitchhiking, and increased levels of child care and gender inequity.”
“The health, safety, and security of our communities and land is paramount. Canada has contradicted their commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples,” said UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer Kukpi7 Judy Wilson. “It is not only our women and children and risk. These man camps put all women, youth, and children at risk in those communities neighbouring these camps.”
UBCIC Vice-President Chief Bob Chamberlin added that the work camp culture “contributes to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls that currently grips this country.” Given the deep flaws in Canada’s justice system reflected in recent court decisions in the murders of Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine, he added, “the construction of these man camps, in close proximity to our communities, is unacceptable.”
Grand Chief Stuart Phillip said UBCIC “will never permit such trespass against Indigenous peoples. Our lands and our communities have been continuously ravaged and pillaged for the ‘national interest,’” and “we will do whatever it takes to stop the Kinder Morgan expansion.”