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Coastal First Nation youth speak out on oil tankers

August 12, 2010

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Enbridge Pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan have both brought international attention to the dangers of transporting oil over long distances.  Here in BC that’s meant increased scrutiny of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and the possibility of oil tankers travelling the province’s treacherous north coast and a sullied reputation for Enbridge. 

The Coastal First Nations have been clear in their opposition to the proposed pipeline, most recently at the Gathering of Nations, in Kitamaat Village last May.  But opposition to oil tankers amongst these First Nations has been building from some time, and West Coast Environmental Law would like to acknowledge 18 young people from the northwest coast who have played a leadership role in speaking out against oil tankers and pipelines. 

In April 2008 youth from Kitamaat Village, Hartley Bay, Skidegate (Haida Gwaii),  Bella Bella, Lakalzap and Prince Rupert came together in the North West British Columbia Youth Environmental Leadership Program, co-sponsored by West Coast  (along with the Dogwood Initiative and the Living Oceans Society).  In the program they broadened their understanding about oil and gas and the risks it brings for the North Coast, resulting in a sharing of their views in the form of 3 powerful and moving videos.

Unity, argues that all the communities affected by the major industrial projects proposed for Kitimat should be involved in deciding whether the North Coast’s future includes oil.


Fool's Gold, highlights the risks of oil tankers (servicing the Enbridge Pipeline) travelling the North Coast, using a traditional story to illustrate the risks of overconfidence. 


Sacred Headwaters, focused on Shell’s plans to develop coalbed methane projects throughout the Sacred Headwaters region. 


Thanks to Reel Youth for helping the youth in developing these videos.