Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 6, 2012
Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus and other Dene chiefs met on Jan. 27 in Edmonton to declare their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
On that day, the Dene Nation signed the Save the Fraser River Declaration, aligning itself with 100 other First Nations from Northern and Western Canada who are opposed to the project
The pipeline, which would stretch more than 1,600 kilometres, from Alberta to British Columbia, would run through Yinka Dene territory in Northern British Columbia.
"This resolution is an expression of our support for their right to have decision-making power over developments on their land," said Erasmus. "More than 50 per cent of the proposed Enbridge pipeline and tanker route passes through the territories of First Nations that have banned this development according to their traditional laws."
Going forward with the project in Yinka Dene territory would mean violating Canadian law, said Erasmus - a fact that's also outlined in the declaration.
"The Yinka Dene made it clear they don't have any agreements or treaties with Canada," he said. "It's against Canadian law to go into their territory unless they have an agreement."