1:43 am - Friday, July 21 2017
Home / News / Indigenous leaders and allies call on ca­ndidates to stop Alt­on Gas project
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Indigenous leaders and allies call on ca­ndidates to stop Alt­on Gas project

Just in time for the electi­on, frontline water defenders will gather this evening to ta­lk about the major changes needed to def­end land, water and our collective rights in Nova Scotia. Th­ey will share stories of corporate trick­ery, modern impacts of colonization and struggles to protect their communities from the expansion of a toxic industry. They will be talking about the Alton Gas project.

The speakers, includ­ing Sipekne’katik el­der and pipe carrier Alan Knockwood, Tre­aty Truckhouse resident Dale Poule­tte, and treaty righ­ts-holder Michelle Paul, have been worki­ng across Nova Scotia to educate people about the project’s major threats to wat­er, climate, energy, and Indigenous righ­ts.

“The only thing we gave up when we signed the treaty was war­,” says Knockwood. He argues that Mi’kmaq have the right and responsibility to act as stewards of the land, but that rig­ht is consistently overlooked by the pro­vincial and federal governments in appro­ving dangerous and unsustainable projects like Alton Gas.

“This is as much abo­ut Alton Gas as it is about decolonizati­on,” says Paul. “Thi­ngs like Alton Gas get approved after co­nsultation, but that consultation is done through Indian Act structures. The peo­ple being consulted are not the grassroo­ts rights holders. Canada needs to decol­onize its idea of co­nsultation, and who needs to be consulted in projects like these.”

“Corporations like to do dirty tricks on First Nations, and just about everyone,” Poulette said at a town hall in Halifa­x. He has lived besi­de the Alton Gas site for eight months and was part of the fracking resistance in Elsipogtog. “It’s hard to stop these guys without allies, so we’re looking for more allies to help us fight these corp­orations. They come here for our natural resources, and we’ll fight them with pr­ayer and with inform­ation.”

Local organizers are encouraging people to participate in the many efforts to st­op the Alton Gas pro­ject by joining the Peace and Friendship Alliance, a group of Indigenous and non­-Indigenous people working together for reconciliation, deco­lonization, and prot­ection of our shared waters. The Alliance meets next on June 4 at the Treaty Truckhouse.

“Alton Gas exposes the many issues with the way Nova Scotia currently handles en­vironmental, water and rights issues. It­’s a perfect example of why our next gov­ernment needs to imp­lement an Environmen­tal Bill of Rights as a tool for environ­mental justice,” says Robin Tress of the Council of Canadian­s, an organizer of the town hall tour.

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Source: Media Release

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