ICA Statement on Oil Spill at Kinder Morgan Station in Secwepemcul'ecw on May 27th, 2018
Just days before Kinder Morgan is set to make a “decision” on whether or not to continue with the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline, an existing pipeline facility in Secwepemcul'ecw (Darfield BC) reported an oil spill of 100 litres of crude oil. The Kinder Morgan decision has become dependent on the needed financial support from investors and social licences from communities along the pipeline route.
Yesterday, Secwepemc land defenders went to monitor the scene on their territory lands to bare witness to the contamination caused by Kinder Morgan. The Secwepemc people continue to be one of the many communities that have not consented to the proposed TransMountain pipeline due to rising environmental, human and Indigenous rights concerns that are evident from this recent spill.
Statement from Eriel Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate:
“The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has become a litmus test for how this country is going to respond and react to the climate crisis and the rights of Indigenous communities. There are clear and evident dangers associated with this pipeline highlighted by this recent spill. It is not a question of what will happen if the pipeline leaks, it is when.
As an Indigenous woman from a Nation impacted by Tar Sands exploitation in Alberta, I want to remind us all that the impacts of the pipeline extend far greater than potential leaks. Right now the human and Indigenous rights of communities at the source of the tar sands in Alberta, along the pipeline route through Alberta and BC, in the coastal waters of our oceans along the shipping routes are continually threatened by these projects. Ultimately, we are all threatened through the continued increase of GHG’s created by the tar sands projects.
It is the communities on the frontlines of these dirty energy projects that are facing the continued attack on their human and Indigenous rights and dignity. This pipeline does not have consent from many of the Indigenous communities whose lands it is being built upon, and it ignores the direct and indirect consequences it will cause. Right now federal and provincial governments are asking us to accept the continued violation of environmental and Indigenous rights for economic prosperity. Money and jobs will do nothing to address the current environmental and human rights crises we are facing. It is sickening the Canadian government wants the public to put profit over the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and the safety and security of our mother earth.
Every day new studies and reports are released on the dangers of continued business as usual in fossil fuel consumption and development in the face of the climate crisis. Yet, Alberta and the Federal government want to continue to increase development and GHG’s despite outcry from scientific, human health and Indigenous communities. It is imperative we act now and transition away from fossil fuel, not lock ourselves into decades more of investments into irresponsible energy projects."
As Indigenous people, we are the most vulnerable to climate change and are the first to be impacted by its drivers and its effects. However, we continue to be the first to stand up and risk everything to demand the change that we need to survive, not just for our own communities but for all communities. It’s time the public stand with the people and the land before it’s too late.”