Stand firm on resource growth

I am from Victoria and firmly stand opposed to Enbridge Northern Gateway

I am from Victoria and firmly stand opposed to Enbridge Northern Gateway; Kinder Morgan Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline expansion through our wilderness.

Why does my voice count? I am First Nations and the territories that these pipelines will trespass belong to my ancestors, our people and our future children. Our ancestors never gave away our inherent rights to our culture, we are connected as a people to the water, land and air.

The Europeans tried to take the Indian out of Indian, create an image of themselves to practise their ways. It was the law that children be removed from their families, never to speak their language, eat their traditional foods or practise their culture. As a people our healing has been slow but with every passing day we are healing and we are standing firm to be recognized as Canada’s first people.

The government’s failure turned into ours – indigenous people live in deplorable conditions across this country. Our last stand, is the land.

We have treaties in this country and one of the government’s biggest challenges is land settlement.

The gas and oil industry, with the knowledge of the federal and provincial governments, have been holding meetings with Indian bands all over British Columbia. They are promising money and jobs to aboriginal people if they get the green light to expand into B.C.

The mentality of industry and government is laughable – they are now meeting with our community elders. I guess they think they fooled us once – why not try again.

Aboriginals have a claim to the rights of this land and what we have in our arsenal for this fight is nature. Our elders know that you can’t argue with mother nature – her word is the law. Finally after 200 years our fight is tilted in our favour and we have some pretty impressive backers, the president of the U.S.A., scientists from every earthly discipline around the world, environmentalists, celebrities and most importantly the growing numbers of the Canadian public.

I think President Obama put it best when he delivered his speech on climate change. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest. Remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth. And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote. Make yourself heard on this issue.

It has been said by many what a coincidence this weather event took place in Alberta where the oil sands have been labeled the biggest threat to mankind.

The five billion that it will take to rebuild the damage should come directly out of the pockets of the oil companies, fix what’s happened before creating more of the same. Call it accountability.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich