Tom Kirkman

Indigenous people level a crushing blow to U.S. funded anti-Canadian-oil-sands campaign

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Greenpeace and ilk can go pound sand with their anti-oil hysterics.

Indigenous people level a crushing blow to U.S. funded anti-oil sands campaign

Dozens of Indigenous groups are turning forcefully against the anti-pipeline agenda of Greenpeace and other U.S.-funded green and social justice groups.

Indigenous leaders are organizing support for oil and gas development on reserves and in communities. Indigenous men and women work in big numbers in the oil-and-gas sector and are now also running, owning and partnering in oil-and-gas companies. Indigenous leaders are speaking out in the media and at federal hearings in favour of pipelines.

And now they’re aiming what could be a killer blow to the anti-oilsands campaign, a move that would see substantial First Nations ownership of new pipelines to the B.C. coast, starting with the Trans Mountain expansion, which got federal approval this week.  ...


...  This powerful coalition is also standing up to green and social justice groups that make endless claims that Indigenous people are harmed by oil development and against pipelines. For example, on the Greenpeace website, the claim is that the health of First Nations communities has been greatly impacted by the oilsands and the traditional way of life is also threatened: “Indigenous communities, Greenpeace and people all around the world are saying NO to toxic oil pipelines that threaten the water and climate.”

Wapass said he respects Indigenous groups that genuinely oppose TMX, but said they’re in the minority.

He’s fed up with American anti-oil influence. Some U.S. money has gone to Indigenous protest groups.

Wapass said he won’t allow for outside interests to keep his people impoverished. “We need money to create that hope within our kids and their kids,” he said. “We need money to look after our most vulnerable and we don’t have that.”

He’s determined to stand up against the U.S.-funded lobby. “The only card they could play is what they played, which is, ‘Let’s use the Indigenous people as a block to advance our personal interests here in the U.S. and let’s pump money into it.’ But we recognize that, we see that, and we’re saying, ‘No, no, no, no. Not on our watch.’ ”

For those with environmental concerns, Wapass said stewardship of the land will be the main priority of an Indigenous-led pipeline company. “I believe if you look after the land, the land will look after you.”

With such strong Indigenous leadership and partnership, a new era of oil and gas development is coming. It will lift up some of our most impoverished people, which will be a huge benefit to us all. Even members of the anti-oil lobby might come to realize the good of this new dynamic. It’s certainly hard to see a downside.

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