Yinka Dene protesters open at largest climate change march in history

Quebec City— Jasmine Thomas of Sai’kuz First Nation opened speeches this weekend

Jasmine Thomas

Jasmine Thomas

Quebec City— Jasmine Thomas of Sai’kuz First Nation opened speeches this weekend at what’s being called the largest climate change march in Canadian history.

At the Act On Climate march Saturday, April 11 in Quebec City, Thomas, Tantoo Cardinal, actress and activitist, and Serge Otsi Simon, grand chief of Kanesatake Mohawk Council, shared opening remarks about the Save the Fraser declaration –  a document signed by more than 130 indigenous nations from the arctic to the Unite States banning tar sands pipelines from crossing their territories. The three major proposed tar sands pipelines are Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan and Transcanada Energy East and Indigenous laws have declared these pipelines illegal, Thomas  said.

“During the Joint review panel recommendation last year there were over 4000 speakers that addressed the national energy board and only two people in over 4000 supported it, majority were in opposition. Canada is trying to move forward with the pipeline regardless of majority opposition, it’s not right,” she said.

Police estimate more than 25,000 people came out to the Act On Climate protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipelines. The focus being to put pressure on the premiers of Canada who met in Quebec Monday to discuss climate change – talks leading up to United Nations climate negotiations in Paris scheduled for December 2015.

In December 2010 First Nations from across BC and Alberta came together to show their solidarity in the fight against Enbridge. Right now there are seven First Nations in BC (Gitxaala, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nak’azdli, Nadleh Whut’en, Haida, Heiltsuk and Gitga’at) that are taking the issue to court. The Pull Together Campaign was created to raise funds for the legal challenges and has since raised $350,760 to support First Nations but more is needed, Thomas said.

“Canada has to reduce their emissions by 2020 but we won’t be able to do that if we keep approving pipelines,” she said.

For more information visit www.holdthewall.ca, www.pull-together.ca and www.act-on-climate.ca.