Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations Sign Historic Declaration to Protect the Salish Sea

Nations collaborate to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 1, 2012 – Today, the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations celebrated their sacred connection to the waters of the Salish Sea with an historic canoe journey starting at Swáywi (Ambleside Park) and ending at Whey-Ah-Wichen (Cates Park) where each Nation signed a Declaration to protect the Salish Sea.  The historic Declaration marks the Nations’ decision to work collaboratively to stop the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and increased oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea.

“The potential for an oil spill is too high for our people, our community, and this region,” said Chief Gibby Jacob, Squamish Nation. “We are exercising our Aboriginal rights and title and will uphold our Nation’s cultural and environmental values.”

With the journey, the Nations upheld their responsibility protect and maintain their sacred connection to the waters. Paddlers from other Coastal First Nations joined members of Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh in the journey, and held a sacred water ceremony in front of Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal.

Upon arrival at Whey-Ah-Wichen, Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob and Tsleil-Waututh Chief Justin George signed a declaration to protect the Salish Sea.

“By signing this declaration, our Nations are calling on people from all cultures to stand with us to protect our environment for future generations,” said Chief Justin George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “This celebration reminds us all that there is room for many paddlers in one canoe.  When we paddle together, with one heart, one mind and one spirit, great things can happen.”

The event celebrated the teachings of the canoe and the unity of all peoples. In attendance were First Nation leaders, elected officials, and members of the general public.

Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations have publicly opposed Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project, the terminus of which is on the south shore of Burrard Inlet in Burnaby. The expansion would more than double current pipeline capacity, potentially resulting in one supertanker per day entering the sensitive marine environment of Burrard Inlet.

About Squamish Nation
Composed of more than 3600 Members, the Squamish Nation is comprised of descendants of the Coast Salish Aboriginal peoples who lived in the present day greater Vancouver area, Gibson’s landing and the Squamish River watershed.  Our society is, and always has been, organized and sophisticated, with complex laws and rules governing all forms of social relations, economic rights and relations with other First Nations. We have never ceded or surrendered title to our lands, rights to our resources or the power to make decisions within our territory.  For more information, please visit www.squamish.net.

About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For more information please visitwww.twnation.ca.

Image with caption: “Paddlers from Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and other Coastal First Nations perform a water ceremony in front of the Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal. (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120902_C3290_PHOTO_EN_17435.jpg

Image with caption: “Chief Bill Williams of Squamish Nation, Chief Justin George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Chief Gibby Jacob of Squamish Nation, welcome paddlers to Whey-Ah-Wichen, as Gabriel George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation dances. (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)”. Image available at:http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120902_C3290_PHOTO_EN_17436.jpg

Image with caption: “Chief Justin George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Chief Gibby Jacob of Squamish Nation sign a historic declaration to protect the Salish Sea. (CNW Group/Tsleil-Waututh Nation)”. Image available at:http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120902_C3290_PHOTO_EN_17437.jpg

SOURCE: Tsleil-Waututh Nation

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Squamish Nation
604.240.5539 or 604.315.4225

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