Representatives of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Great Sioux Nation, and the Ponca Tribe were at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum Wednesday to sign a 16-page declaration against TransCanada Corporation’s US$8-billion, 3,500-kilometre Keystone XL Pipeline.
The tribes pledged to set up protest camps all along the pipeline route from Central Alberta to Texas. The declaration represents tens of thousands of people in Canada and the United States, the Globe and Mail reports.
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“Today, as we begin to remake the sacred truth between the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Great Sioux Nation, we are in a time of crisis,” said Chief Stan Grier, Chief of the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. “This crisis is not limited to native people, but it impacts all people. If you drink water, if you breathe, you are not immune. It is that fundamental that we are addressing today with this declaration.”
“There is a historic union between first Americans in Canada and Native Americans in the United States,” said Ponca tribe councilwoman Casey Camp-Horinek. “Long before a border ever existed on a map, a fictitious line on a map, we were united peoples in our approach to care of Mother Earth.”
Last week, meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reported that Indigenous opponents to oil and gas pipelines are turning their attention to the investors whose financing decisions will make or break big infrastructure projects. The binational campaign will “press 17 banks—including Canada’s big five—to stop providing funds to TransCanada Corporation, Enbridge Inc., Kinder Morgan Inc., and U.S.-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, which is the majority owner of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.”
The Globe points to Indigenous opposition as “one of the greatest challenges to the oil and gas industry’s bid to expand pipeline capacity” from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands. “We call on all banks and financial institutions to withdraw their investments in the corporations proposing to build new pipelines to carry even more tar sands oil out of Canada,” said Association of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, speaking on behalf of the 121-member Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.