Treaty Violations & Line 9

||| by Sâkihitowin Awâsis

The National Energy Board is not seeking free, prior, and informed consent from First Nations communities and Indigenous Peoples.  Although the project cuts across Haudenosaunee territory (the Haldimand land tract), federal officials have ignored the concerns raised by Haudenosaunee Confederacy in late 2011.  The Enbridge line 9 reversal application and review process already has violated the Nanfan treaty, the Two-Row Wampum, Friendship Wampum belt, the Great Peace of Montreal treaty, the Haldimand Proclamation, section 35 of the Constitution Act, and the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  In late 2011, the Oneida Nation of the Thames band council also submitted a statement to voice concerns, which seemingly have been ignored.

We are ALL treaty people! Honour the treaties!

Pictured above is the Silver Covenant Chain Wampum, one of the earliest agreements made between the Haudenosaunee and Settler nations. This belt accompanies the Two Row Wampum, and is based in the principle of mutual aid and respect. Depicted above is an Onkwehon:we (Indigenous) and non-Indigenous person holding a silver chain, in agreement that if there are difficulties or trouble we will pull on the chain to let the other know we need to help one another. The principles of this international treaty agreement have not been upheld by settlers.

For a lot of people colonization is not something of the past, but an ongoing destructive process that continues to degrade the self-government and diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples today.

Although treaties involve principles of good relations between Indigenous Nations and Settler Nations, many treaties have been broken. When European governments were trying to create and legitimize their own settlements on the Americas, treaties were still signed by independent Indigenous Nations, who are not subjects of the British crown.

For instance, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy of Six Nations was forced off of land that was promised to them by the Canadian government, yet are currently being denied compensation. This means that the government is failing to uphold the Two Row Wampum treaty, the basis of which is Peace, Respect, and Friendship.

Treaty making is the appropriate starting place for resolving conflict between Indigenous Nations and the settler state in ways that are peaceful and meaningful for both parties, in the spirit and intent of the original treaty-making.  

Further information –


Pipeline threats

The pipeline crosses multiple waterways, including the Grand River which flows through Six Nations territory, and the Thames river, through London, Ontario. The Great Lakes are downstream.

Line 9 was built in 1975. Corrosive tar sands and increased flow pressure would increase the risk of a disastrous breach. A similar Enbridge pipeline ruptured along the way to Sarnia in 2010, spoiling 40 kilometers of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.  Enbridge lists more than 600 pipeline spills between 1999 and 2008, as well, when this company’s pipelines released approximately 21 million litres of fossil fuels.

A fast-tracked review

Enbridge is being granted a fast-tracked review for their line 9 tar sands pipeline reversal through Ontario.

The official hearings are not legitimate or democratic for some of the following reasons:

  • The federal cabinet will try to overrule any review outcomes which they do not approve of.
  • Concerns about tar sands extraction are among numerous crucial topics that will be considered to be ‘irrelevant’ in this far-too-narrowly defined hearing.
  • This project violates treaties with indigenous peoples.  The pipeline reversal would flow across the Haldimand Land tract, without Six Nations consent.
  • Enbridge has not provided adequate notice of their plans, and very few Ontario residents are aware of this pipeline.
  • The web site for the official hearing is not accessible; it evidently was written for lawyers.  Yet, citizens generally are unable to hire lawyers to represent them in this review process.
  • Months were slashed from the timeline of this review, which originally was scheduled for the fall.  This fast-tracked review further undercuts the potential for democratic participation.

This project should not be approved without the free, prior, and informed consent of all peoples who may be impacted.

The tar sands industry is attempting to build as many pipelines as they can, and the National Energy Board seems to be helping them to do so.

Enbridge declines to pay for new studies on oil spill damage

|| “

The pipeline company responsible for the 2010 tar sands oil spill that fouled almost 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River is refusing to pay $800,000 to complete two new studies to assess the spill’s damage.

Trustees of the National Resource Damage Assessment, an effort to assess the damage caused by oil spills and other hazards, wants Enbridge to participate in the studies, which involve vegetation and recreational use in the area affected by the spill.

The group comprises state and federal agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as two tribal governments.

But Enbridge notified trustees in June and October that it was “declining to cooperate” because adequate data had already been collected.

Trustees disagree.”

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Enbridge “Open Houses” & Intervenors Announced

|| List of intervenors has been announced by the National Energy Board, which can be found in Letter A11-1 in the Regulatory Document and Procedural update.

NEB Procedural Update:

Upcoming “open houses” being hosted by Enbridge:

Thursday June 6, 2013

Thistletown Community Centre
925 Albion Road
Toronto, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

The Princess Banquet
3330 Pharmacy Avenue
Scarborough, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Monday June 17, 2013

Quinte West Region
Gerry Masterson –
Thurlow Community Centre
516 Harmony Road
Corbyville, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday June 18, 2013

Port Hope
Canton Community Hall
5323 County Road 10
Port Hope, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Colborne Legion Hall
92 King Street East
Colborne, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday June 19, 2013

Clarington Region
Clarington Beech Centre
26 Beech Ave.
Bowmanville, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Whitby Curling Club
815 Brock St. N
Whitby, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday June 20, 2013

Croatian Parish Hall
2110 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

Flamborough Region
Rockton Agricultural Fair Grounds
812 Old Hwy 8
Rockton, ON
5 – 7:30 p.m.

more pipelines burst


|| “The National Wildlife Foundation’s Alexis Bonogofsky lives on the Yellowstone River and has a farm there. When the ExxonMobil oil pipeline below the Yellowstone River burst late Friday night leaking oil into the river and contaminating the local waterway, her farmland was contaminated with oil from the spill. Exxon officials told Alexis that she should not document the effects the spill has on her property and that she should stay from the oil “just to be safe.” They told her “off the record” that she should move her livestock away from the parts of the farm affected by the spill. “

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Line 9 threatens [K]anada on several levels

|| “MONTREAL — Environmentalists and concerned citizens are gearing up to fight the proposed reversal of the Line 9 pipeline between Sarnia and Montreal, which would allow Alberta oil producers to transport their product to refineries in Eastern Canada. The project goes before the National Energy Board next August. Despite its many Canadian and foreign backers (including all three main federal parties), the project has many things going against it.

It’s a sign of how regionalized the country has become that the tarsands have been developed as far as they have, because they are clearly not in the national interest. If the pipeline ends up conveying oil all the way east to Saint John, where tankers will then take it to the Gulf of Mexico for refining and export to Asia, it won’t improve the energy security of Canadians one bit, and those who live along the pipeline route will have put themselves at risk for nothing.”

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Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline fuels climate of suspicion in Quebec

|| “In many ways, Sainte-Justine-de-Newton is a typical Quebec village. A stone Catholic church anchors the main street, small businesses are scattered about and behind them, towards the nearby Ontario border, dairy farms speckle the landscape.

But in this town, population 973, its mayor, Patricia Domingos, is taking a stand against one of Canada’s biggest energy companies: Enbridge Inc.

Sainte-Justine is where Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, a 762-mm-wide steel tube running underground from Sarnia, Ont. to Montreal, enters Quebec. Enbridge, Ms. Domingos claims, tried to win her community’s support for its current proposal to reverse the flow of that pipeline with a financial gift.

“The company tried to buy us,” she said in an interview, adding she has serious concerns about the pipeline’s ability to carry heavier crude at higher volumes under the proposal. “They wanted to hush us up. We didn’t take the money.”

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