Spirit of Truth and Reconciliation Already Broken

Letter to the Editor, June 29, 2015

Earlier this month the headlines in all major Canadian papers were about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports that highlight the cultural genocide experienced by indigenous peoples as a result of the brutal treatment they were subjected to in the Canadian residential school system.

And on June 16, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation were in federal court appealing the decision of the National Energy Board on Pipeline 9B, which has ignored their treaty rights to full consultation. The NEB has given the go-ahead to Enbridge, with some conditions, to run heavy crude through this 40-year-old pipeline. This pipeline crosses all major waterways throughout southern Ontario and puts at risk the drinking water of millions of people.

Richard Kuprewicz, a well known pipeline expert testified at the NEB hearings that the aging pipeline has a 90 per cent chance of spilling in the first few years of operation if it pumps heavy crudes like tarsands oil.

Spokesperson and band council member Myeengun Henry said: “We feel it is absolutely wrong for the NEB to give Enbridge LTO (leave to open) before the court ruling has been heard. Canada continues to break Treaties and disrespect its own Constitution. Chippewas of the Thames will continue to protect our mother earth in anyway possible.”

There has been no reporting of this crucial court case in any major newspaper in Canada, including this one.

It is clear that the outcome of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has at best, no consequence for the present lives of the First Nations peoples of Canada. The genocide continues.

Miriam Garfinkle

Related Topics: Indigenous Communities/Environmental IssuesTruth & Reconciliation