Indigenous People United! Stop Christy Clark’s mining and pipelines

Report back from the Indigenous Assembly against Mining and Pipelines where community members are gathering knowledge, strategizing, sharing, and expressing their truths.

From November 4-7 the 2nd Indigenous Assembly against mining and pipelines was held in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories. In response to the pro-mining “Meeting Minds, Making Mines” conference hosted by the Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association (CAMA), affected communities gathered to share and strengthen strategies. Christy Clark is promising 8 new mines in BC and an expansion of 9 existing ones. In the same breath she commits to 10 new non-treaty agreements (payoffs that skirt Aboriginal Title and Rights) to guarantee economic security. They know full well that if they are unable to divide the communities by paying off willing members they will be slowed down by community consultation processes.

On November 6 the Assembly took to the streets. We started at the Occupy Vancouver site outside the Vancouver Art Gallery where nations publicly requested permission from the Coast Salish people to do our advocacy work in their territories. Cease Wyss welcomes us
Ta’kaiya Blaney reads the Statement from the Second Indigenous Assembly Against Mining and Pipelines on behalf of members of the impacted communities of the Saliammon, Secwepemc, Wet’suwet’en, St’at’imc, Tsimshian, Dakelh, Carrier, Nuxalk, Tla-o-qui-aht, Haida Gwaii, Nak’azdli, Nlaka’Pamux, Siksika, Ahousaht, Ktunaxa, and Sayisi Dene.

The plans of Christy Clark and the BC government to push mining (including eight new mines in four years) and pipeline developments into unceded Indigenous territories will fail. We are opposing these plans and will be protesting the Provincial and Federal Government for continually violating inherent Aboriginal Rights and Title.

The BC government also hopes to proceed with a plan of signing ten non-treaty agreements to create economic certainty for corporations. But Clark’s government has no jurisdiction to pursue her economic agenda without free, prior, and informed consent because we – grassroots Indigenous peoples – legally, politically, economically, spiritually, culturally, and inherently maintain Aboriginal title and jurisdiction over our territories.

The promoters of the exclusive “Meeting Minds, Making Mines” Conference give the false impression that mining has broad support from Indigenous Peoples. But there are only a small number of Indigenous Peoples benefiting from industrial developments. The meagre share of profits and the few jobs that are promised by corporations and the government are not worth the devastating impact on our water, salmon, food base, spiritual sites, cultural well-being, traditional livelihoods, children and future generations. Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately impacted by industrial development with high rates of toxic waste, pollution and ill health in our communities, as well as systemic poverty through the encroachment into and destruction of our territories.

For this reason, we reject the short-term interests of profit that motivates those mining and pipeline developments that are trespassing on our unceded Indigenous lands. We are Indigenous People United Stopping Pipelines and Mining!

Occupy Vancouver that was in somber spirits after a young woman passed away the afternoon before from an overdose but they rallied around the assembly regardless lending their bodies to our gathering. More than 400 people marched past Taseko Mines and Imperial Metals to the CAMA conference opening reception. Along the way impacted communities were given the opportunity to deliver messages to the companies threatening their streams and land bases.

Video highlights, music and photos from the rally from Vancouver Media Co-op Full Article

More video highlights from the Indigenous Assembly Against Mines and Pipelines rally

Mel Bazil (Wet’suwet’en) speaks outside the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association reception, talks on the subscribers of the pipelines and the community affects.

The assembly came to a close with a community panel held near Commercial Drive and the members of the assembly returned home to continue their work in their communities with full hearts and fires burning bright.

Marika Swan, Tla-o-qui-aht Nation
Manager. Redwire Native Media
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