Tsleil-Waututh Statement on Marathassa Oil Spill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Tsleil-Waututh Nation, North Vancouver, BC—April 17, 2015)

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC and COAST SALISH TERRITORY:  Today, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the “People of the Inlet”, stands in solidarity with everyone who has a connection to Burrard Inlet.  We applaud the efforts of all those gathered here today in Port Moody, one of our historic village sites, to urge the federal government to step up, reverse damaging budget and resource cuts, and increase their commitment to the protection of our coastlines from oil spills.

Tsleil-Waututh law includes an obligation and responsibility to care for the waters, lands and air of our territory including Burrard Inlet.  As a result, we have been in the command center for response to the oil spill every day since the beginning.  While there have been many institutional failings, we have developed the upmost respect for the sincerity and dedication of all those individuals involved in the response.  We want to thank all those who have contributed to making the best of a very unfortunate, harmful situation.

Last week’s incident increases Tsleil-Waututh’s resolve that we cannot tolerate an increased risk of oil spills in Burrard Inlet.  Further devastation of an already-stressed marine environment risks collapses in the remaining salmon stocks and further contamination of shellfish beds, wiping out our Aboriginal fishing and harvesting rights.  We must use this incident as a catalyst to develop a path forward that adequately protects and restores clean water and abundant, wild marine foods that are safe to eat in Burrard Inlet.

About Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members.  The Nation is located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, across the Inlet from the Burnaby terminus of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

Tsleil-Waututh are the ‘People of the Inlet.’  The Nation has exercised stewardship responsibility for its lands and waters since time out of mind.  The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is actively working towards restoring the health of Burrard Inlet.

The Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative is mandated to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project.  For more information visit www.stage.twn.affinitybridge.com and follow the Sacred Trust Initiative on Twitter:  @TWNSacredTrust.

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