CAMBRIDGE – At approximately 10am on July 17th, 2014 about 30 people gathered at one of the 400 integrity dig sites that Embridge must inspect and repair in order to continue the Line 9 project. Members of the Six Nations community and their allies gathered at Lockie road and Bethany court and were successful in stopping the work on a section of the pipeline.
Workers were asked to leave as members of the Six Nations Men’s Fire asserted that the dig site is unceded Haudenosaunee territory under the Haldimand tract, and that there had been no prior and informed consent or consultation about the project. The construction crew removed 2 flatbeds and an excavator from site, and the police had retreated by 11am. The protestors felt the police presence was non-intrusive, and acted as mediators between themselves and Embridge staff.
“Meaningful consultation isn’t just providing information and going ahead without discussion – it’s giving the opportunity to say no and having a willingness to accommodate. We’ve tried pursuing avenues with the NEB, the township and the Grand River Conservation Authority. Our concerns were dismissed. What other choice do we have if we want to protect our land, water and children? This is a continental concern. It’s not just a Six Nations issue or an indigenous issue. We share the responsibility to protect our land and water as human beings” said Missy Elliot.
There is no denying the important concerns within her statements; half a million people rely on the Grand River for drinking water which is now unprotected due to Bill C-45.
Among those present today, Daniell Boissineau, Anishnabe of the Turtle Clan, had this to say: “This isn’t just about line 9 – or Northern Gateway, Energy East or Keystone XL. This is about pipelines – all of them. This is about the tar sands and how destructive they are to expand, extract and transport.”
Six Nations Band Council shut Embridge out of their last meeting. HDI met with Embridge last Thursday, and plans to meet with community members as well. The plan is that a public meeting will be held where community members can acquire more information and have their voices heard. The site will be continually monitored to ensure that heavy equipment does not return.
For more information visit noline9wr.ca or the Waterloo Region Against Line 9 Facebook group page.