U.S., Canada aboriginal tribes form alliance to stop oil pipelines

Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:32pm EDT
 
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Aboriginal tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treaty on Thursday to jointly fight proposals to build more pipelines to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands, saying further development would damage the environment.

The move came as Native American tribes on Thursday took their fight to Washington to stop development of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline, which would cross federally managed and private lands in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

Last week the U.S. Justice Department intervened to delay construction of the pipeline in North Dakota.

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement.

Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.

While aboriginal groups have long opposed oil sands development, the treaty signals a more coordinated approach to fight proposals.

Among the treaty's signatories is the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who opposes the Dakota pipeline.

"What this treaty means is that from Quebec, we will work with allies in (British Columbia) to make sure that the Kinder Morgan pipeline does not pass," Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon said in the statement.   Continued...

 
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms