FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2017
Community members, First Nations and US Tribal members rallied together at the annual general meeting (AGM) of Enbridge Inc to demand respect of Indigenous rights, protection of water, and life. The Indigenous groups and individuals present represent a newly forming cross-border alliance to stop Enbridge's proposed Line 3 pipeline expansion project. US Tribal members will lead a water ceremony and jingle dress dance outside the Enbridge AGM starting at 12:30pm.
Enbridge is also a major shareholder in the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project run by Dakota Access, LLC, a company directly responsible for gross human rights abuses documented by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and numerous journalistic outlets. Employees of Dakota Access employed attack dogs against unarmed men, women, and children, and carried live ammunition while law enforcement engaged in brutality. Enbridge was repeatedly informed of these ongoing abuses, but elected to allow the injuries to continue, despite its existing Aboriginal People’s Policy. Thousands witnessed and were injured.
In 2016, the Anishinaabeg and people of Minnesota defeated Enbridge’s proposed Sandpiper Project, and now stand ready to defeat Line 3. Similarly, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project was stopped by the Unistoten Clan, Yinka Dene Alliance, many First Nations and environmental organizations. This newly formed cross-border alliance to stop the Enbridge Line 3 expansion project knows that Indigenous rights can stop development projects. Similarly, Enbridge’s Line 9 reversal project is named in a Canadian Supreme Court challenge by the Chippewas of the Thames on duty to consult, which is awaiting ruling. When Free, Prior and Informed Consent is not respected, it costs companies millions of dollars in litigation, project delays, and shaky investor confidence.
The Enbridge Line 3 expansion project is sourced by Tar Sands development on Indigenous lands- Treaty 6 & 8; in northern Alberta.
“Tar sands development is in direct violation of Indigenous rights and further driving us into climate catastrophe. Enbridge supports continued tar sands expansion that destroys and poisons ecosystems and watersheds our communities rely on. Tar sands projects - from extraction to pipelines and refineries - are annihilating treaty rights and leaving a legacy of cancer, respiratory and autoimmune diseases and a destabilized climate for future generations,” says Eriel Deranger, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
The Line 3 expansion corridor will threaten several waterways, ecosystems, and aquifers. When the Line 3 project spills, as all pipelines do, it will contaminate land and water systems with cancer-causing chemicals. Recent spills, like Enbridge's massive spill in Kalamazoo, MI, have brought irreconcilable harm on the environment as clean-ups have not been successful.
A recently launched divestment campaign called for by the 121 First Nations and Tribes united by the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion along with a coalition of grassroots Native groups, targets the banks funding DAPL and the four currently proposed tar sands pipeline projects.
“A highly successful push against the banks funding Dakota Access and other fossil fuel infrastructure has resulted in nearly $5 billion in cancelled contracts and over $90 million divested by individual account holders. Enbridge currently has over $5 billion invested in renewable energy. I hope the shareholders hear us, as we fight for the next generations and human rights. We will not stop until our communities are safe from unnecessary risks and Enbridge has made the just transition to renewables,” said Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth.