The Canadian Press
CALGARY – A coalition of Indigenous groups from Canada and the U.S. has signed a declaration against the Keystone XL pipeline, vowing to use the courts and whatever other means necessary to block the controversial project.
At a signing ceremony in Calgary Wednesday, leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Great Sioux Nation representing tribes in both countries called for more dialogue and consultations on the project, which would run through their traditional lands.
“It’s our responsibility to protect, and get involved, advocate and prevent this type of threat from crossing traditional Blackfoot lands,” said Chief Stanley Charles Grier of the Piikani nation at the ceremony.
Chairman Brandon Sazue of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota said they hope to use the “right way” of opposing the pipeline, including the courts and negotiations, but as a last means he and others are prepared to protest like they did against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Councilwoman Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, who was arrested at the Dakota Access protests alongside Sazue, said she’s also ready to protest again.
“We are hoping to find a peaceful resolution,” said Camp-Horinek, “but all of us understand that if it’s necessary for us to create a camp again, and to stand in opposition, we’ll do that.”
She said she’s opposed to the pipeline because it and other resource extraction and development projects have threatened her people.
Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump revived the pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. when he granted it a presidential permit, reversing Barack Obama’s rejection in 2015.
TransCanada maintains the US$8 billion pipeline, set to run 1,900 kilometres between Hardisty, Alta., and Nebraska, will be environmentally safe create jobs, and boost the economy.
The project still requires regulatory approval in Nebraska, while environmental groups have challenged the U.S. federal approval in court.