Monday, January 30, 2012

Gerald Amos on Enbridge's Northern Gateway

by Gerald Amos, January 8, 2012
"Recently there has been a lot of criticism by supporters of the tar sands, and oil industry front groups, of Canadian non-profit organizations who have concerns regarding the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, and the fact that they receive support from U.S. philanthropic foundations.

"Ethical, and Our, oil industry front groups with close ties to the Prime Ministers office, recently launched attack ads in northern communities, where opposition to the Enbridge project is fiercest. This desperate attempt to change the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of people who oppose this project, is driven by more than concern for our home and native land. It is being driven by greed and desperation.

Gerald Amos was Chief Councilor for the Haisla First Nation for 12 years. He has been a leading voice for conservation in Canada for thirty years.

"The foreign interest groups Canadians should really be concerned about are the Chinese oil companies investing billions in the Tar Sands, and the multinational oil companies like Shell and British Petroleum, who are investing 200 million dollars trying to sell Canadians on this astoundingly stupid idea.

"Ezra Levant, Stephen Harper and Minister Oliver should study history a bit. The First Nations of Northern BC including the Haisla have been fighting to protect this coast for decades. This proposed project is just one of many we will have ended up stopping. The insinuation that northern communities, and especially First Nations, can be bought by U.S. interests is paternalistic and insulting; if not some new iteration of hypocrisy that can only be characterized as soft core racism. [emphasis added - N.F.]

"The Haisla have been fighting to protect this region from ill-conceived industrial developments for over thirty years, while at the same time showing leadership in developing projects that are safer and more sustainable, and that benefit all British Columbians. Our history in this regard is well known, be it our efforts to reform logging practices, pollution from industrial plants, or our successful efforts to protect the worlds largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest, the Kitlope Valley.

"The fact that our conservation leadership has attracted the support of conservation funders should be a source of pride for British Columbians. We do not follow the lead of anyone, we assume and take responsibility for our lands and lead others in that regard.

"We are not opposed to development. But we are opposed to stupidity and placing our homelands at terrible risk in order to satisfy the insatiable greed of the international oil industry. We do not accept the Prime Ministers claim that this project is in Canada's national interest, and it is certainly not nation building, but rather, planet destroying.

"Haisla were the lead in developing the LNG project in Kitimat, the largest new industrial development in the north in thirty years. Natural gas is the cleanest hydrocarbon available, tar sands oil is the dirtiest. My community’s decision to support natural gas development and oppose a tar sands pipeline is a considered and informed decision consistent with our ancestral responsibilities as First Nations who have never surrendered title to these lands. Yes, we need and want jobs. Long term, permanent, sustainable jobs we can be proud of, not six months of digging ditches for a tar sands pipe, or jobs cleaning up oil spills.

"We will not allow the Ezra Levants of this world, who, by the way, does not reside in this region, to characterize the Haisla, or our neighbors, as the pawns of U.S. Foundations.

"...We are willing to share, but we will no longer be robbed..."
Read the entire article at Terrace Daily Online

* * * * *
The Kitlope Heritage Conservancy is an 800,000 acre unlogged and roadless watershed in the traditional lands of the Haisla Nation and central British Columbia. It was established in 1994 and is co-managed by BC Parks and the Haisla Nation.

Gerald Amos was the elected Chief Councillor at the time.
"We're forgetting the earth really is like a bank and we're withdrawing far too fast..."

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  1. Fabulous! Thanks for the exerpt!
    Mr. Amos says everything I want to say in a way I wish I had said it.
    My full support is beside the Haisla people.

  2. Excellent post.

    The Haisla are very reasonable and fair people. They have an abundance of support, from the BC citizens.



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