No, this is not the 17th century: Chevron engineers, looking to frack billions of cubic feet of gas from indigenous Unist’ot’en territory in British Columbia, did indeed try to get past the tribe's roadblock a few weeks ago. Trying to keep out oil and gas pipelines from deep within their unceded traditional territories, the Unist’ot’en's concerns about the wholesale destruction of their sacred lands were met with generous offerings of bottled water and industrial tobacco:
Yesterday Chevron, the company behind the Pacific Trails fracking pipeline, attempted to enter our unceded territories. They have no consent from our chiefs and our hereditary governance system, who are standing strong in their stance against all pipelines. Next to the Wedzin Kwah river, which is pure enough to drink from, Chevron presented us with an offering of bottled water and industrial tobacco.
But hey, who would care about clean river water when you can just drink water from bottles made with the oil that's going to be sucked out of your ground? Here, have a Camel!
Everyone in the U.S. knows about the Keystone XL pipeline, and there's been a lot of attention given to its harmfulness on all fronts. However, Keystone is far from being the only battle to be waged in the fight against the greedy fossil fuel industry and their determination to fry the planet.
For a little perspective, here's the scope of the Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) that they want to run through Unist’ot’en territory.
The Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) is a $1.23 billion project that falsely hopes to link co-owners Apache and Chevron’s fracking operations in the Liard Basin and Horn River Basin with their proposed LNG processing plant in Kitimat. If completed, the pipeline would be able to transport 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
Totalling 473km in length, the pipeline would run from Summit Lake (where it would connect with the existing Spectra Energy pipeline) to Kitimat. The current proposed path for the pipeline has it passing directly through the Unist’ot’en territory of Talbits Kwa.
Apache and Chevron are both among the top polluting companies in the world, ranking 5th and 18th overall among oil&gas companies based on total reserves. Both companies are known for environmental atrocities where they operate.
Here's the map of all proposed pipelines through Unist’ot’en territory. Click here
for an interactive map of pipelines, tarsands, fracking fields and resistance to these things.
The fact that national governments like Canada's are allowing oil companies into sovereign native territories to drill for oil and build huge pipelines without their consensus in this day and age is hard to fathom. But that's exactly what greedy companies like Chevron and their government enablers are banking on: apathy, disbelief, and ignorance.
That's why it's so important to shine a light on what's going on in these territories that are so far away from the eyes of "civilization" and yet directly affecting the industrialized world.
Even more important for us to support the Unis’tot’en, who are on the frontlines of an epochal struggle that will define the future of all life on Earth. There are many things we can do: from educating ourselves to donating to volunteering to throwing a kitchen party, visit this page to find out more.
I'll leave the last word to the Unis’tot’en on why they refuse all pipeline projects on their sacred lands...
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