The Skeetchestn Indian Band has written to all BC First Nations and Indian Bands asking them to join with the Skeetchestn on March 7 and consider peaceful service disruptions for those corporations that benefit from the use of their lands without meaningful consultation.
“We’ve made it clear in correspondence with (the companies) that due to their relentless activities on our lands, we have little choice but to act,” said Skeetchestn Chief Rick Deneault. “We told them that as the issue was the survival of our community, our community would stand up.”
The companies and corporations are West Fraser Mills, Teck Resources Ltd., BC Hydro, Canadian National, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Spectra Energy, International Forest Products, and Canadian Pacific.
Four of the companies have responded to the letters, saying they would like to open dialogue: Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Spectra Energy and International Forest Products.
“The Skeetchestn community is like any BC Community,” said Deneault. “We want to be able to look forward to a future that includes having a say in what happens to us, to our homes, to our traditional lands, and to our culture and community life.
“We run a successful corporation,” Deneault continued. “We want to do business, and we want to be a part of their business. But I think any mayor or member of any BC municipal council – faced with eight corporations deriving benefit from the community, imposing destruction on the community, and excluding the community from participating in new opportunities – would have to stand up for the community. It simply isn’t fair if only some of the companies try to do things better, while other corporations hide behind their leadership and continue to act to destroy your future, so we are working with appropriate policing agencies on the peaceful service disruptions.”
Deneault called on other First Nations “to make March 7 the day you decide that you will start peaceful service disruptions to these eight companies and corporations or others active on your traditional territories that are benefiting from the use of your lands without real consultation with you, or respect for your opinions about your lands and your cultural values.”