Indigenous peoples and climate campaigners scored a major victory in Canada on Thursday as the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the government’s review of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline, a project of Kinder Morgan, did not adequately consult with First Nations before greenlighting the project.
The ruling comes after ongoing and mass opposition to the project, and members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam First Nations—committed to fight the pipeline with every means necessary—have said they never consented to the pipeline passing through their lands and amid vital waterways.
In a statement on Twitter, the Sacred Trust of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation said it was glad the FCA “has recognized our inherent governance rights.”
“Today’s decision is a major win for Indigenous Nations and for the environment,” said Greenpeace USA tar sands campaigner Rachel Rye Butler. “It has long been obvious that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project violates Indigenous sovereignty and would cause irreparable harm to our environment and the health of people; while threatening the extinction of the Southern Resident orca. It’s time to pull the plug on this project once and for all.”
“This is a great victory for Indigenous communities everywhere fighting against destructive projects being imposed upon their territories,” said Patrick McCully, climate and energy program director at Rainforest Action Network, after the ruling. “It signals that governments, corporations, and funders must all respect Indigenous Peoples’ right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.”
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