Heiltsuk Nation Rejects Enbridge Northern Gateway Proposal
- Oil tankers will never be allowed on B.C. North Coast, community tells Enbridge representatives -
For Immediate Release
November 4, 2010
(Heiltsuk Traditional Territory/Central Coast – November 3, 2010) Bella Bella - Today, the Heiltsuk Nation was unequivocal when it told Enbridge Inc., the world's largest pipeline construction company, that they will never allow oil tankers on or near their traditional territory on the B.C. coast.
At a public meeting in Bella Bella, Enbridge representatives heard from the community's hereditary leadership, elected leadership, youth, elders and nearby residents their deeply felt and strong conviction to never allow crude oil tankers on the B.C. north coast.
Their concerns include risks to the marine environment, food security, livelihood, economy and culture.
"We will not change our position, we stand behind our coastal First Nation neighbours and the declaration that we all signed that ban oil tankers on our coast." Marilyn Slett, elected Chief Councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation, stated at the public forum. "We will never support the Enbridge project and we will never support a project that has the potential to destroy our way of life."
"Enbridge has severely underestimated the resolve and commitment that the Heiltsuk Nation possess when it involves protecting their traditional territory." said Ian McAllister, local resident and Conservation Director of Pacific Wild.
"Our relationship to our land and waters is sacred and when it comes to the possibility of a massive oil spill our position is not negotiable." stated Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt
The Heiltsuk Nation calls on the Federal Government to protect BC coastal waters and legislate an oil tanker traffic moratorium.
For more information and further comment:
Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Tribal Council (250) 957-2381
Frank Brown, Director, Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department (250) 957-2303
Harvey Humchitt, Hereditary Chief, (250) 957-2319