OTTAWA – The Iroquois Caucus released a collective statement last week unanimously opposing the Energy East oil pipeline.
The caucus is made up of elected leadership from Akwesasne, Kahnawa:ke, Kanesatake, Oneida Nation of the Thames, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and Wahta Mohawks.
The controversial proposed pipeline would see crude oil pumped across 4600 kilometres from Western Canada to Eastern Canada, crossing some 180 First Nations territories. If approved the pipeline will be the longest oil pipeline in North America, carrying over 1 million barrels of crude oil per day.
In a press release, the Caucus declared they are “unanimous in their opposition to the Energy East oil pipeline project in order to safeguard [our] territories, peoples and cultures from the major threats posed by this dangerous project. Notwithstanding the economic benefits, we have serious concerns with respect to the devastating effects this project can have on our lands and waters, our way of life and our cultures.”
The Caucus said the federal government, as part of the nation to nation relationship, are obligated to consult with First Nations in respect to the project. “We are willing to meet with the senior Crown representatives to participate in the development of a meaningful process that is consistent with the historic Two Row and the legal obligation of the Crown to address and accommodate First Nations concerns including the shortcomings of the National Energy Board process.”
Representatives from Oneida Nation of the Thames also shared the Caucus should consider joining the legal action Chippewa of the Thames is taking against Enbridge.