The Yinka Dene Alliance is taking a Freedom Train across Canada to enforce their legal ban on the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipelines and tankers project, and to stand up for their freedom to choose their own future.
A large delegation of Yinka Dene people will travel with allied First Nations from their traditional territories in northern B.C. all the way to Toronto, with events in Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg along the route.
The train left Monday from the West Coast with stops in Edmonton and Winnipeg and Toronto's the next stop.
You can read about their trip so far here: Freedom Train carries message of opposition to Enbridge pipeline
In Toronto, the Yinka Dene Alliance will take the Save the Fraser Declaration -- which bans oil pipelines and tankers in the territories of more than 100 First Nations -- directly to Enbridge's leadership and the centre of financial power in Toronto, at Enbridge's annual shareholders meeting.
These oil pipelines and tankers threaten the very survival of First Nations peoples with devastating oil spills. That is why the Yinka Dene Alliance are taking this Freedom Train across Canada: to stand up for the freedom to live according to their own cultures, the freedom to govern themselves and their lands, and the freedom of all of us from the catastrophic risks of big oil and their inevitable oil spills.
As many of you remember, ACFN signed onto the Save the Fraser Declaration in January of this year. We signed onto the declaration because we understand what is at stake for the Yinka Dene and our struggles are one and the same. We don't want our rights, lands and people sidelined by profits and "development."
As Indigenous peoples we have an intricate relationship with Mother Earth and all that she provides us and we must carry out our duties as stewards of the land and stand up for those that cannot speak.
The connection to the Enbridge pipelines challenge lies in our own challenge of Shell's proposed projects. Shell's proposed projects would more than double their production, producing 600,000 b/p/d of tar sands contributing to cumulative impacts already felt in the region.
Shell's projects alone would be enough to fill the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines enabling Shell's expansion of tar sands development in our traditional lands, pushing us beyond the tipping point of what our lands and way of life can sustain. The proposed pipelines would also cross over 1,000 rivers, three major salmon bearing riversand across unceeded territories of many First Nations in B.C..
Both Shell and Enbridge projects have lacked proper analysis of treaty and Indigenous rights as well as meaningful and proper consultation with impacted communities. The JRP of the Enbridge pipelines has seen First Nation communities stand up in opposition in community after community asserting that their connection to the land and culture are far greater than the piece meal profits and jobs they would get from the project.
Because the themes of our struggles intersect, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has been and will continue to keep a watchful eye on the progress of the Yinka Dene Alliance's challenge of these massive pipelines.
It is our hope they will be successful in asserting their rights to both the corporations and the governments, then perhaps we can share in their strength, challenging projects here in Northern Alberta.
On Wednesday May 9, 2012, the Yinka Dene Alliance Freedom Train stops in Toronto for the Enbridge AGM.
Here are the Toronto details:
The Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) is planning a massive Canada-wide action against Enbridge leading up to its upcoming Annual Shareholders Meeting in Toronto on Wednesday, May 9.
Tuesday May 8
Freedom Train Solidarity Concert
8:00 p.m. at The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West)
Admission by donation
Wednesday May 9 -- 11:45 a.m.
Rally, march and water ceremony
David Pecaut Square -- Toronto
(near King St. & John St., behind Metro Hall)
**closest subway station is St. Andrew Station. A mobility vehicle will be made available for those that cannot walk the march route. For a spot in the van or for any other accessibility concerns, please email: **
March Starts at 12:30 from the rally -- towards Enbridge AGM (Meridian Hotel, King and Victoria St.)
To RSVP and to request info on free buses from outside Toronto, visit here.
For more info about the Freedom Riders Train and the Yinka Dene Alliance see here.
For more info on the Indigenous and allied movement Against Enbridge's Tar Sands Pipelines and Tankers, and the Tar Sands themselves, see here.
AND don't forget to sign the petition here.