The current Burnaby Mountain demonstrations and civil disobedience over Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline expansion has developed into a perfect storm of activism. You have three powerful First Nations; you have location, your local politicians, academics, the young, the old, and David Suzuki and his grandson.
Folks feel like hypocrites driving to work in the morning and opposing a pipeline at the end of the day. An important part of this dialogue is building an understanding that not only is it essential that we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels to stop the destabilization of the climate and the extreme weather events that come with it, but that doing so actually creates more jobs than the status quo.
Lummi territory just south of the Canadian border is under threat of a proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. Known to its original inhabitants as Xwe'chi'eXen, the spot is located 17 miles south of the Canadian border. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would be the largest of its kind on the American west coast, transporting such dry bulk commodities as grain, potash and coal to Asian markets. The Tsleil-Waututh nation of North Vancouver is embroiled in a battle to keep Enbridge and Kinder Morgan out of its traditional territory. Both are fighting destructive resource development on their lands. Both are water nations, and their collective well-being depends upon the health of the Salish sea.
I feel strongly that as non-indigenous people living here in what we now call North America that we all have a lot to learn from those that were here long before we were. Working together, we need to find ways to heal from the history of colonialism and find new ways to work together to make healthy alternatives to dangerous tar sands oil, a reality. There are very real energy, housing and transportation solutions already readily available.