Canada | Environment

Straight Goods: First Nations participate in Keystone XL protest

"Nearly a thousand people gathered Monday on Parliament Hill in front of the Centennial Flame to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands crude oil to Texas. Organized by the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace Canada, and the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), the solidarity rally drew participants ready to risk arrest, by attempting a sit-in in the Centre Block or by supporting those engaging in civil disobedience.

Before the main event, several high-profile speakers addressed the crowd. Clayton Thomas-Muller, indigenous tar sands organizer for the IEN, kicked off the event by thanking the Algonquin First Nation for use of the "unceded land" on which lies the parliamentary buildings. First Nation Elder Terry McKay then led the gathering in prayer to the Creator, followed by a drum song.

"Justice!" resounded all around as, to fire up the crowd, Thomas-Muller called, "What are we here for?"

Chief Bill Erasmus of the Dene First Nation and the Assembly of First Nations took the podium, pointing out that people who live downstream from tar sands tailings ponds are dying of cancer.

"Shame!" cried the protesters.

Chief Erasmus noted that it takes four to five barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil.


Chief Erasmus claimed that Canada's goal is to become the #1 producer of oil.


Get the Story:
Sit-in protests Keystone XL pipeline (Straight Goods 9/27)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe alarmed over Keystone XL (9/28)
Ruth Hopkins: Keystone XL Pipeline poses a risk to water source (9/27)
Native Sun News: Sioux activist arrested at White House protest (9/15)
Ralph Nader: Keystone XL opponents afraid to criticize Obama (9/14)
Robert Redford: Keystone XL pipeline threatens US heartland (9/13)
Native Sun News: Tribal rights at issue in Keystone XL pipeline (9/1)

Join the Conversation