Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 19, 2011

Dene Nation part of international accord opposed to Keystone XL pipeline

Dene Chief Bill Erasmus at White House rally
to halt the pipeline in Sept./Photo Josh Lopez
Dene Nation Becomes Part of International Accord Opposed to Keystone XL Pipeline

Press statement

YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories -- (Sept. 19, 2011) The Dene Nation has helped prepare an accord opposing the Keystone XL pipeline with First Nations, tribal leaders, and property owners in the United States and Canada. The accord was agreed to at a meeting on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota last week, and is the latest in a serious of coordinated actions between different entities with diverse interests opposing the pipeline.

“Our meeting was very informative because, for the first time, we had the chance to listen to property owners who explained their concerns about the proposed pipeline going through their lands,” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. “They are very concerned about potential spills on their land and need clarity about who is responsible for the potential cleanup.”

The Dene Nation and others will be seeking support for the accord from First Nations, tribal leaders and property owners. The accord will be brought to Washington, D.C. next month and presented to the United States’ government during hearings on the pipeline. President Barrack Obama is expected to announce his decision on approving the pipeline in early November.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would transport 1 million barrels of synthetic crude oil each day from Alberta’s tar sands to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Construction of the 2,700 km pipeline would facilitate a massive expansion of Alberta’s tar sands, along with increased pollution, stress on water resources, and greenhouse gas emissions. Dene communities are downstream from the tar sands, and are threatened by the impacts of upstream water usage and pollution, and the impacts of climate change and global warming.

--For more information please contact: Barret Lenoir or Daniel T’seleie at the Dene National Office (867) 873-4081.

No comments: