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Upstream opposition to KM pipeline growing

Kamloops to host Picnics NOT Pipelines on Sunday, April 22

by Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Picnics Not Pipelines!
Picnics Not Pipelines!

KAMLOOPS (SECWEPEMC TERRITORY) – Indigenous peoples living upstream from Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby pipeline terminal say their very existence is already under threat from the massive expansion project.

Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty spokeswoman Dawn Morrison says proceeding without prior and informed consent is illegal and has increased the risk and uncertainty the bitumen pipeline poses. She says opposition to the pipeline upstream is growing and the Working Group is hosting a family-friendly Picnics Not Pipelines educational event in Kamloops on Sunday, April 22.

The Working Group says that while much of the focus has been on the very real risks to the Salish Sea, Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project has already negatively impacted rivers and salmon habitat upstream, as well as the social and economic well being of Indigenous food economies. Anti-spawning mats placed in streams by Kinder Morgan have been removed by activists concerned about the threat to wild salmon - a cultural and ecological keystone species already seriously endangered.

“We see people rising up in strength and resiliency to stop and prevent any further damage to our rivers, oceans, lands and dignity in the traditional territories where we have been the title holders and stewards for thousands of years,” says Morrison. She adds that financial promises made by Kinder Morgan to some band councils in the region “do not represent the whole Secwepemc Nation or the nations downstream who have always shared and protected the entire Fraser Basin watershed through inter-tribal networks.”

The food sovereignty advocacy group calls the failure to include Indigenous representatives at last Sunday’s meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and the premiers of Alberta and BC “a continuation of the historical injustice of blocking Indigenous peoples from the very decisions that impact them.” It adds that threats of military or economic oppression of Indigenous peoples will only further inflame racist tension and ignorance.

“The wild salmon provide a powerful metaphor for working in unity to overcome adversity in the struggle to protect and maintain the health and integrity of our lands and waterways,” says Morrison. “Indigenous peoples are reinforcing their vital role in conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of humanity - we are connected to a global movement of 200 million small-scale farmers, fishers and Indigenous peoples mobilizing under the banner of food sovereignty.”

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Media Contact: Dawn Morrison 778 879 5106 dmo6842@gmail.com

Event: Picnics NOT Pipelines

Date: Sunday, April 22 11 am – 5 pm

Location: Mission Flats Park, 2710 Mission Flats Rd., Kamloops, BC

#foodnotoil #swimming upstream #clean water

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