Mikisew Cree First Nation tar sands activists join Climate Camp
British companies are killing us, say indigenous campaigners.
Representatives from Canada's First Nations will be joining the Camp for Climate Action next week to highlight the catastrophe that is destroying their lives and the global environmental.
Five indigenous campaigners will be hosting a series of workshops on Tar Sands to drive home the seriousness of the situation and the need for urgent action.
“The Tar Sands are violating our Aboriginal and Treaty rights in so many ways.” George Poitras, a former chief of Mikisew Cree First Nation, told New Internationalist.
“We are seeing a terrifyingly high rate of cancer in Fort Chipewyan where I live. We are convinced that these cancers are linked to the Tar Sands development. It is shortening our lives. That's why we no longer call it 'dirty oil' but 'bloody oil'.”
They are also acutely aware that this is a global problem with global consequences.
One of the visiting group, Lionel Lepine, said: “Tar Sands is a global phenomenon. It is the largest industrial project in the world. It is also the dirtiest. Tar Sands produce three times as much CO2 per barrel as conventional oil. There's enough under the ground to push us over the edge into runaway climate change. It should be everyone's concern.”
They hope that by visiting London people in the UK will add more pressure to the British companies that are profiting from the development.
“British companies such as BP and RBS in partnership with dozens of other companies are driving this project. It is destroying the ancient boreal forest, spreading open pit mining across our territories, contaminating our food and water with toxins, disrupting local wildlife and threatening our way of life. UK companies are complicit in the biggest environmental crime on the planet and yet very few people in Britain even know that it's happening” said Eriel Tchekwie Deranger.
The group will spend a week at the Climate Camp, running workshops and planning anti-Tar Sands actions. The camp runs from August to 2 September, when there will be an action in the City of London.
An interview with them will appear in the next issue of Ethical Consumer Magazine.
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