First Nations leaders are justifiably angered by the HarperCon government’s blatant support for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
“The First Nations Leadership Council is greatly troubled by recent comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver advocating for the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline to proceed even before the Joint Review Panel’s environmental review has begun,” the First Nations Leadership Council said in a commentary published in the Rossland Telegraph.
“We are not going to allow an oil culture to overtake the culture of the coast of British Columbia,” Sterritt said. “That’s what they [pipelines] do. That’s what they did in Alaska and that’s what they did in the Gulf of Mexico. They are just not welcome to do that here. There’s just no reason for it.”
But that doesn’t stop the HarperCons and their greedy oilbuds. It makes some folks worry that the HarperCons are using psychological warfare to raise the ire of First Nations and their allies and thus provoke violent confrontation.
About the only thing they can do now is escalate the psychological war that is already well underway.
Enter Ethical Oil. A friend and colleague of mine at the Public Good Project, Jay Taber, hinted at the effects of the psychological war in his recent analysis of the Ethical Oil ad, which first appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network in August 2011.
“My main concern is … that the Harper administration and the extraction companies he works for might be able to mobilize resentment against indigenous peoples and thus foment violence. Secondarily, I am concerned that neutralized liberals might let it happen.”
The relationship between Enbridge and First Nations communities has not, historically, been a good one. A few years ago, Enbridge’s sub-contractors cut down 14 culturally-relevant trees.
Worse yet was that Haisla leaders didn’t know their territory was being surveyed at all until Enbridge got in contact to make amends.
“We compared it to a thief breaking into your house and destroying one of your prized possessions, and then calling you later to apologize for it,” Haisla councillor Russell Ross Jr. told The Tyee.
What followed over the next five years was a blueprint for how not to engage with native communities, an incident that to this day remains unresolved.
That, according to financial observers indicates that the Enbridge pipedream will likely not materialize: