Canada | Environment

Blog: Tahltan First Nation fought big energy company and won





"A eight-year-long confrontation between British Columbia natives and Big Oil has come to an end. The natives won.

After years of protests, from road blockades in northern British Columbia to “Get the Shell Out” demonstrations in The Netherlands, the Shell Oil Co. has abandoned plans for a huge coal bed methane project in what’s known as B.C.’s “Sacred Headwaters.”

The Tahltan First Nation bested a multinational oil company’s effort to dig and drill on its ancestral hunting grounds in a mountain plateau where three major North American river systems — the Stikine, the Skeena and the Nass — originate.

“We now focus on growth opportunities with better commercial and geological prospects in northeast British Columbia,” said Lorraine Mitchelmore, president of Shell Canada.

The oil company learned the toughness of a native population near the far northwest corner of British Columbia. Tahltan elders blockaded Shell’s access road. Native groups from across British Columbia gathered in a remote meadow, with a grizzly bear grazing not far away, for a convocation and protest. Such leading environmentalists as CBC-TV host Dr. David Suzuki, who lives in the summer in the region, joined the protest."

Get the Story:
Strange Bedfellows — Politics News: Canadian tribe successfully fights off Shell Oil (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12/19)