The Nlaka’Pamux Nation stance on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project on our Territory.

Press Release
January 26, 2017
Unceded Nlaka’Pamux Territory
“Merritt BC”

The Nlaka’Pamux Nation stance on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project on our Territory.

We as members of the Nlaka’Pamux nation, recognize Tribal Law as the highest law of the land. We are guided in our decision by our Ancestors, and seek to ensure the well being of our grandchildren and all life on our territory. Our decision is also guided by the impacts that the Trans Mountain Pipeline has on the neighbouring territories.

We were never consulted when the original Trans Mountain Pipeline was built in 1953. Kinder Morgan has never properly dealt with the ruptures and oil spills that have taken place on our territory. Currently, the federal government and Kinder Morgan are attempting to force us make our decision so they can build their project according to their schedule.

Due to this history and current actions from the Federal Government and Kinder Morgan, we will not tolerate the Trans Mountain expansion, anywhere on our Traditional Territory. In fact, we want the original Trans Mountain Pipeline to be removed completely from our territory. We wish for our concerns to be met peacefully and reasonably, but in the case that they aren’t; we vow to stand up for any person from the Nlaka’Pamux nation, or any of our allies if they are criminalized or targeted in any manner, for opposing the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

We also see that all forms of fossil fuel needs to be left in Mother Earth and will work with all like-minded people to protect the land, air, water and all life.

All Our Relations

Letter to the Federal Government Panel on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Proposal

I read and left a copy of this letter to the federal panel in Vancouver BC, seeking feedback on the Kinder Morgan TMX project. It is part of some of the last meetings where the public can voice their opinions on this project.

August 17, 2016
To The Federal Government appointed Ministerial Panel on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Proposal, SFU Vancouver BC, on Unceded Coast Salish Territories

I’m Billie Pierre, and I’m from the Nlaka’Pamux Nation. I’m writing this letter in direct opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to double their existing Trans Mountain pipeline through our unceded territory through Merritt BC, and the mountains west onwards towards “Hope BC”. Our Nlaka’Pamux ancestors have upheld our sovereignty and Aboriginal Title over our traditional territory in the Declaration of the Shuswap, Thompson and Okanagan Tribes in 1910, The Interior Tribes of BC 1914, and in 1982, during the Constitution Act amendments, we stood as the Nlaka’Pamux Nation, not individual bands and tribal councils, upholding our Aboriginal Title and rights to our traditional territory.

The 2013 oil leaks that occurred along the Trans Mountain Pipeline between Merritt and Hope BC; the massive oil spills in the Fraser Valley and lower mainland, including the oil spill in Burnaby BC July 2007, are reminders of the threat that the Trans Mountain Pipeline already poses on our territory. There is no reason for us to allow this project to double in size, and potential for environmental devastation on our land.

Lastly, it’s important to acknowledge that the oil products that are being sent along the Trans Mountain Pipeline are going to the US, specifically the US military. That over half of Alberta’s tar sands oil goes to the U.S, that Canada is the single largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States and that the U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s leading single buyer and consumer of oil.

The US is responsible directly and indirectly for human rights abuses around the globe. Also, historically, our people south of the colonial Canada/US border have suffered under the US government, and most of the genocidal acts Canada has committed against our people on the north side of this border, were learned from the US. We have no reason to support the US military.

All My Relations
Billie Pierre, Nlaka’Pamux Nation

Letter from Billie Pierre (July 2013)

My name is Billie Pierre, and I’m from the Nlaka’Pamux Nation. I’m writing this letter in direct opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to double their existing Trans Mountain pipeline through our unceded territory. I encourage every person of the Nlaka’Pamux Nation to stand together and oppose this pipeline project because of the negative impact it will have on our land, water and future generations.

In 2005, Kinder Morgan doubled the crude oil going through the Trans Mountain pipeline to 300,000 barrels daily, and now seeks to twin their pipelines in order to increase this capacity to 890,000 barrels daily. Each barrel going through these pipelines is a potential spill. Kinder Morgan admits on their website to having 78 spills in 51 years, most taking place at their pump stations or terminals. Still the 2 leaks that occurred this past June near Merritt BC and Hope BC, raise questions about how sound the current 60 year old Trans Mountain Pipelines are.

Recently Kinder Morgan has approached the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Coldwater Indian Band for negotiations on this project. The Trans Mountain pipeline doesn’t go through reserve land, it goes through unceded Nlaka’Pamux territory. Our territory is much bigger than government assigned reserve land. In our history, we were put on reserves to displace us from our land, so that the rest of our territory could be exploited for it’s “resources”. Band and tribal councils were created to entrench Canadian government control over how we govern ourselves. We went from being independent people who lived on our land, to becoming complacent and dependent. Band and tribal councils play a legitimate role in administering government funds for social programming like education and housing. However, they do not have any legal authority to make land deals for economic profit. Worse, band and tribal councils making land deals with corporations and the government is a serious conflict of interest because of their near complete dependency on government funding and dollars from resource extraction projects on our territory.

We haven’t signed any treaties, and possess our entire traditional territory. The Nlaka’Pamux Nation is us, and we’re a sovereign Nation, and are the legitimate government over our territory and people. In one very important way, many Nlaka’Pamux people continue to exercise their true rights when they leave their reserves to travel throughout our territory to hunt, fish and gather. We need to take further steps and actively rely on our land, take care of our land, and to stop using our land as a bargaining chip for financial gain. Because once it’s polluted, and there isn’t anything left to destroy in the name of profit, we won’t be seeing those dollars anymore. In the long run, living on our land in a respectful manner is our safest bet for survival.

We also need to keep in mind other people in the world. This pipeline supports the Tar Sands which is one of the worlds biggest polluters and is a death sentence to the land of the Cree, Dene, and Metis people. This monster project displaced them from their trap lines, displacing their caribou herds, and is literally killing the people themselves from the pollution in their drinking water in the communities downstream. The Nations on the coast are also opposing this development project because it’ll greatly increase the amount of oil tankers in Burrard Inlet, increasing the risk of oil spills. Every Nation the Trans Mountain pipeline cuts through, also face the same risks we do.

Lastly, many of our people are currently employed in the Tar Sands. The jobs won’t last, but the damage the Tar Sands and pipelines will cause will be there forever. Please stand up against the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipelines.

All My Relations.
Billie Pierre