No Sepwepemc Consent

Meetings are being held throughout many Secwepemc Nation communities to discuss the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which courses directly across their unceded, unsurrendered territory, "Our greatest concern is that the pipeline will travel all along the North Thompson River Valley, and would pass under the winding Thompson River at several points, right up to the headwaters where our salmon spawn," says a brochure distributed at a meeting Mar. 29, 2017, at Moccasin Square Gardens, in Kamloops.

"If any leakage, or a major spill were to occur it would directly impact and threaten our salmon in both the Thompson and Fraser River spawning basins, and all the other beings that depend on water for survival."

Furthermore, "The Secwepemc take very seriously the issue of clumate change and environmental impacts. If we are to reduce carbon emissions and the current damage to Mother Earth, we do not need and cannot afford to allow the Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion to go through because it is just too risky."

Secwepemc are continuing to meet regarding these concerns, and all meetings are well-attended, "Our waters are sacred. We believe there are better sources of renewable energy without having to destroy Mother Earth, such as solar and wind energy."

The 17 Secwepemc communities in the interior of B.C. were, "at the time of contact in the late 18th century, occupied, managed, and held in jurisdiction by the Secwepemc," and this vast territory composed the largest First Nation in the province, "extending from the Columbia River valley on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Fraser River on the west, and from the upper Fraser River in the north to the Arrow Lakes in the South. We are known as the people from where the water flowed. Our combined Secwepemc'ulecw transitional territory covers approximately 145,000 square kilometres."

The literature cites international human rights and Indigenous law: "In order for the Kinder Morgan pipeline to legally go through, Canada is required to obtain the Collective Consent from the Secwepemc as the rightful title holders. Up to present, in all the extraction and exploitation throughout Secwepemc'ulecw, our Collective Consent has never been obtained. Canada has never acted in our trust, nor in our best interests, and has even ignored our peoples' concerns regarding our territorial issues.

"The consultation process is and has never been adequate in addressing our Secwepemc'ulecw rights and title issues. The time has come that Canada, B.C., and industry must now obtain free, prior and informed consent from the people our of Secwepemc Nation.

"Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline and the Secwepemc band councils who have signed agreements approving this pipeline have failed to obtain 'Collective Consent' of the Secwepemc, and do nor have the proper authority or jurisdiction to sign any agreements on our lands on our behalf of our people. Only the Secwepemc people, collectively, are the rightful title holders and hold the proper authority and jurisdiction to make these decisions. We say No to B.C., Canada, and the Secwepemc bands approval to Kinder Morgan."