By: Christine McFarlane
On Wednesday May 9 2012- West Coast First Nations the ‘Yinka Dene Alliance Freedom Riders’ and community supporters marched from David Pecaut Square (near King and John Street behind Metro Hall) and gathered in front of the Enbridge’s annual general meeting of shareholders at the King Edward Hotel here in downtown Toronto. They wanted to send a clear message of disapproval for Enbridge’s plan to build pipelines and oil sands through Sacred First Nations territory.
The Yinka Dene Alliance is a coalition of Carrier and Sekani First Nations in northern BC that includes Nadleh Whut'en, Nak'azdli, Takla Lake, Saik'uz, and Wet'suwet'en First Nations whose territory comprises 25% of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipelines and tankers project. The $5.5-billion project would see crude from Alberta's oilsands moved through a twin pipeline more than 1,100 kilometres to the B.C. coast. From there, supertankers would ship the crude to Asia. Calgary based Enbridge maintains that the project would create jobs, stimulate economic development and be safe. First Nations people say otherwise.
The Freedom Train consisting of 30 people ranging in age from youths of 16 to elders up to age 67 travelled from their traditional territories in northern B.C. and had events in Jasper, Edmonton and Toronto. They wanted to enforce their legal ban on the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipelines and tankers projects and stand up for their freedom to choose their own future. They also want to stand up for the freedom to live according to their own cultures, have the freedom to govern themselves and their land and ensure freedom for all of us to not suffer from catastrophic risks of big oil and their inevitable oil spills.
Representatives of other First Nations who are also deeply involved in the fight to keep their territories joined them on the train. Please take the time to support the Yinka Dene Alliance in their effort to protect their traditional territory from the Enbridge pipeline and tanker project. Every voice counts and will help make a difference.
For more information on the Freedom Riders Train and the Yinka Dene Alliance see: http://freedomtrain2012.com/
You can also sign the petition and add your voice to the growing opposition to the Enbridge project. You can find the petition at http://freedomtrain2012.nationbuilder.com/ or you can also like the Yinka Dene Alliance on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @YinkaDeneA5