Soriano of the Lummi Nation performs a smudge ceremony at
Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, fanning smoke
from burning sage with eagle feathers onto a totem pole, Thursday,
Aug. 25, 2016. The 22-foot-tall Lummi Nation totem pole is
traveling nearly 5,000 miles across the U.S. and Canada to
galvanize opposition to the development of fossil fuel infrastructure,
particularly around sea ports in Oregon and Washington.
Vancouver, BC As the federal government wraps up its
panel meetings to get feedback on the Kinder Morgan pipeline review,
First Nations communities are ramping up another effort to protest
the project by carrying a totem pole 5,000 kilometres.
The 5,000 Mile Totem Pole Journey began in Vancouver on Tuesday
and will travel through parts of the United States and Canada before
finding a home in Winnipeg. The totem was carved by the House of
Tears Carvers Lummi Nation outside Bellingham, Washington.
Carver Jewell James says totem brings ppl together for sacred
"It's a good stand in solidarity," Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred
Trust Initiative manager Rueben George says, criticizing the government's
panel discussions. "I joke that it's not consultation. We have a
1,200 page document that the government has to talk to use about
and a 40 minutes presentation to the National Energy Board (NEB)
doesn't cut it."
Nation Sacred Trust Initiative's Rueben George: $ govs giving
2 pipelines should go 2 First Nations
Panel consultations wrap up in Victoria this week, and the panelists
will complete a report on their findings in November with a final
decision expected by the end of the year.
George says the federal government's review process is a "sham"
and they expect Ottawa to push the pipeline through.
Kinder Morgan wants to triple the capacity of itsTrans Mountain
pipeline that currently transports 300,000 barrels of oil per day
from Alberta to Vancouver's Burrard Inlet and Washington. NEB recommended
the government approve the project but has since been sent back
for further review.
say the panel and the pipeline review are a "sham"
and don't want gov bending to industry
Supporters argue the pipeline is vital to Canada's economy
and as long as the nation continues to import oil from countries
with questionable human rights and environmental records, it should
approve any project that increases domestic supply.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is among 17 First Nations who oppose the
project because of potential consequences a spill would have on
the environment and economy. The First Nation is suing the federal
government over allegations Ottawa and NEP failed to fully consult
the band before setting the terms of the review.