Justin Trudeau was elected on a promise of a new nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations in which he pledged to “absolutely” respect First Nations’ veto over pipeline projects crossing traditional territories. He has proved unequivocally the emptiness of that promise. His approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline is the final, cynical betrayal to Canadians who voted for real change.
‘Sunny ways’ is over, and it has been for a long time.
He has lost all credibility for seeking reconciliation with First Nations over profits of corporations. He has gone against the popular will of Canadians, scientists, environmental groups, municipalities, the province of BC and the sovereignty of First Nations.
Canada could very well be on the verge of seeing blockades and protests with force that hasn’t been seen since the 1990s with Oka, Gustafsen Lake and Ipperwash. A new indigenous coalition created to fight fossil fuel expansion, the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, now has over 100 Indigenous nations and organizations on its list of signatories.
Trudeau and Notley can pretend to care about many things: the economy, jobs, re-election. One thing they can no longer pretend to care about is “reconciliation.”
This is what colonialism looks like.
We saw this coming—and it is not over. Tsleil-Waututh Nation has vowed it will do whatever it takes to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline, saying the approval is disappointing, dangerous and just the beginning.
Visit coastprotectors.ca to stand with the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs against the expansion of the tar sands.