Marion Erickson was recently interveiwed for an article on the violence against women rally. She has refused a $3,000 scholarship and TransCanada award. Here is her refusal letter.
I am writing to thank you for the TransCanada Corporation Indigenous Community Development Award. It is with this letter that I would like to respectfully DECLINE this award. Nak’azdli traditional territory covers two major pipeline proposals including the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line and the Coastal Gaslink line, of which cross critical caribou and sturgeon habitat as well as various traditional hunting, gathering and sacred sites that are important to future Nak’azdli Whut’en. These projects are also damaging to the environment where fracking takes place, as well as the location for the Lelu Island site for which critical salmon habitat is negatively impacted. As a mother, it is my concern that my son grows up in a life supporting climate, of which cannot be achieved if such pipeline proposals were to go through my traditional territory.
Nak’azdli is being invaded by numerous pipeline proposals one of which came from Spectras West Coast Connector where in the preface to the Socio-economic Impact Assessment Nak’azdli Whut’en made clear its vision for the community in regards to Natural Gas pipelines. I, like my community will “remember that we are taking care of our territory so that seven generations will also live well. We are aware of the impacts of industry and other uses of the land have on the entire environment. Our elder, Monica McKinnon [my great grandmother], talked about putting holes in the sky long before the scientists informed us of the ozone depletion. We are aware of the impact of all the logging and in turn the devastation the pine beetles has had on the supply of oxygen and water as far away as Africa. We do not think only of ourselves; we take our responsibility seriously for the health of the earth. The impacts in our territory will not only affect our children for seven generations, but ALL children in all aspects of their lives: mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional.”
I would like to thank those who considered me for this award, as a young mother in post secondary school it is often financially difficult to provide for my family while attending school; though three thousand dollars is a lot of money but is of no comparison to the destruction these projects have on the land, as Nak’azdli Whut’en member of Lhts’umusyoo clan in solidarity to the mother earths water protectors and land defenders across turtle island I decline this award. Attending Canada’s greenest university allowed me to solidify my understanding of the importance of living in a sustainable way with my Dak’elh way of knowing. On behalf of my son Keom Quewezance and myself I would just like to say thank you for considering me for this award. Please consider someone else for this award.
Citation: Final Report: Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Spectra Energy’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project on Nak’azdli Band and Community Members; Quintessential Research Group Inc. Sept 11, 2014